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Chinese, Russian Presidents Discuss Iraq, Korean Nuclear Issues

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Bangkok Sunday over Iraq, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and bilateral ties.

The two leaders agreed that in seeking to resolve the Iraq problem, consideration should be given to the long-term interests of the Iraqi people and to lasting peace and stability in the Middle East and the Gulf region.

They also shared the view that the political will of the Iraqi people and their independent choices should be respected.

The task of top priority now is the early return of stability and social order to Iraq, the early realization of "Iraqis governing Iraq," and the maintenance of Iraq's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The two presidents, who are here to attend the 11th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, agreed that the new resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council on Iraq is conducive to resolving the Iraq issue within the UN framework.

They pledged to continue their close contacts and strengthen their coordination so as to push for a greater role for the United Nations on addressing regional and global issues.

On the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, both leaders believe that the six-party talks in Beijing are beneficial and have established the intention to seek a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and to solve the issue through dialogue.

Hu and Putin indicated that they would work with all parties concerned to continue the process of Beijing talks so as to secure a peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue on the peninsula through dialogue.

The two leaders, who last met in Moscow in May, also vowed to further strengthen the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation.

Since the May summit, Hu said, relevant departments of both countries have taken positive steps to implement the agreements reached then, with many new results in various fields of cooperation.

The 8th regular meeting between the two countries' prime ministers recently has infused fresh energy into their economic and trade cooperation, Hu added.

"Experiences from many years of cooperation between our two countries have shown that so long as we proceed from the overall situation of the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation and from the fundamental interests of both sides, so long as the principles of mutual benefit, reciprocity and good faith are followed, and the concerns of the other side are accommodated and taken into consideration, any new scenarios and new problems emerging in bilateral cooperation can be addressed properly," Hu said.

Putin agreed with Hu's views of current Russia-China relations. He said the Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, signed in July, 2001, laid a legal foundation for both countries to develop their strategic partnership of cooperation in the new century.

"There are no irresolvable issues or obstacles in Russia-China relations," Putin said. "What we need is the better and faster development of friendly cooperation."

Putin also extended his warm congratulations on the success of China's first manned space flight.

(Xinhua News Agency October 20, 2003)

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