Remarks by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Diplomacy with Iran (Excerpts)

March 7, 2010

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Xinhua News Agency: I have two questions. We know that the 4th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum will be held in China this year. What is China's consideration for developing its relations with Arab countries? My second question is about the Iranian nuclear issue. Some countries have put forward a new sanctions plan regarding Iran. I wonder if there is still room for a diplomatic solution to this issue and how do you think this issue should be resolved?

Foreign Minister Yang: Like you said, the 4th ministerial meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum will be held in China in mid-2010 and the host city is Tianjin. As the largest coastal open city in northern China, Tianjin has enjoyed dynamic development and it is the fitting place for holding this meeting. We welcome the 22 foreign ministers from Arab countries and the Secretary General of the Arab League to China to attend the ministerial conference. The Chinese leaders will have meetings with the foreign guests. We are of the view that this meeting will play an important role in promoting collective cooperation and raising the overall level of cooperation between the two sides, and we have full confidence in consolidating and advancing the friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Arab countries.

On the Iranian nuclear issue, let me stress here that it is our consistent position to uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the relevant region. We have always called for a peaceful settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue through consultation and negotiation, and we have been playing an active part to that end. There are some difficulties surrounding efforts to settle the Iranian nuclear issue at present, but we don't think diplomatic efforts have been exhausted. As you know, pressure and sanctions cannot solve this issue in a fundamental way. We hope that all the parties concerned will stick to the overall objective of seeking a diplomatic solution to the issue through negotiation and give full play to their political wisdom to find a comprehensive, reasonable and fair solution to the issue.

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