Press Conference with Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Jianchao on Strengthening Chinese-Iranian Relations (Excerpts)

June 8, 2006

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Q: During the visit of Iranian President Nejad to China, will he meet with President Hu Jintao? Please brief on the agenda of his visit. What proposal will China pass to the Iranian president on the Iranian nuclear issue? It is reported that the new package plan presented by the US, China and other four countries to Iran clearly proposes to guarantee Iran's security in a bid to suspend Iran's uranium enrichment activities. Please confirm and comment on it.

A: As for your first question, now all heads of SCO member states have confirmed that they would attend the SCO summit. Besides, Presidents of observer countries including Mongolia, Pakistan and Iran will attend the summit. Indian Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Deora, President Karzai of Afghanistan, Chairman of CIS Executive Committee Rushaylo and Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN Villacorta will attend the meeting as the guests of host country. On the sideline of the meeting, President Hu Jintao will hold bilateral meetings with these heads of states at the meeting including President Nejad. Now the parties concerned are making consultation over arrangements. I will keep you updated with further information.

As for the Iranian nuclear issue, I think the issue will be touched upon in talks. China and Iran stay in contact over the issue. The two sides will further enhance understanding and make continuous efforts for the peaceful settlement.

As for your last question, the three EU countries, China, the US and Russia reached consensus on the package plan for the Iranian nuclear issue at their meeting in Vienna a few days ago. The EU has informed Iran of the package plans. Recently we have seen feedbacks of various sides, some of which are positive. The package plan is an important foundation for the settlement of Iranian nuclear issue through peaceful negotiation. We hope the plan can get positive feedbacks from all sides, so as to resume the negotiation on the issue as soon as possible and promote a peaceful settlement of the issue.

Q: How do you see bilateral relations between China and observer countries within the framework of SCO?

A: There are four observer countries within SCO. China maintains friendly and good-neighborly relations with the four observer countries. We all have aspiration to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation. We hope to continue to strengthen cooperation with the four countries both in the bilateral scope and within the framework of SCO.

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Q: Will the Iranian president visit Beijing before he attends the SCO Summit in Shanghai? . . .

A: On your first question, I have not heard of such an arrangement for President Nejad to visit Beijing. Since you are much interested in the Iranian nuclear issue, I'd like to share with you another piece of information. Iranian Vice Foreign Minister Araqchi will visit China today upon invitation.

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