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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

China's Hu to discuss Iran, bilateral issues with Russian leadership in Moscow

RIA Novosti

08:0505/05/2010 BEIJING, May 5 (RIA Novosti) - Chinese President Hu Jintao will discuss a range of bilateral and international issues, including the Iranian nuclear problem, with the Russian leadership during a visit to Moscow on May 8-9, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said on Wednesday.

Hu will visit the Russian capital on the invitation of his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev to take part in celebrations dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi forces.

"During his visit [to Moscow] Hu Jintao will discuss with President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin international and regional issues of mutual interest, as well as bilateral cooperation," Guoping said.

He said Russian-Chinese relations characterized by growing political confidence and economic cooperation, adding that trade turnover between the two countries reached $12.1 billion in the first quarter of 2010.

Guoping said the Iranian nuclear issue, on which Russia and China have "close positions", is also included in the agenda of the talks.

Russia and China, members of the Iran Six group, have repeatedly said that the Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved through diplomatic means.

Russia, however, has not ruled out harsher sanctions against the Islamic Republic in case it fails to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities. China appears to be less compliant, continuing its calls for the diplomatic solution of the issue.

Western powers suspect Iran of attempting to build nuclear weapons under the guise of civilian nuclear program, something that Tehran has repeatedly denied.

The two countries have been long trying to persuade Iran to accept a plan proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which stipulated the exchange of Iran's low-enriched uranium for nuclear fuel produced abroad.

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