China’s president calls for closer ties with Iran


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

China's president calls for closer ties with Iran

China's president Hu Jintao has called for closer ties with Iran while meeting 
his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the first time.

President Hu gave Mr Ahmadinejad a warm welcome, saying he hoped they would have
many opportunities to take the relationship between China and Iran to the next 

China and Iran have long had close economic ties, especially in the oil and gas 
fields, and are currently in negotiations over an energy deal that could be 
worth more than $US100 billion.

Mr Ahmadinejad arrived in China on Wednesday to participate in the leaders' 
summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional forum that is 
increasingly being seen as a counterweight to US influence in Central Asia.

The SCO groups China and Russia with the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, 
Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran, Pakistan, India and 
Mongolia, are observer nations.

Mr Ahmadinejad's invitation to China for the summit drew criticism from the 
United States, which accuses Iran of being the world's biggest sponsor of 

His talks with president Hu and Russian President Vladimir Putin come at a 
crucial stage in the stand-off over Iran's nuclear program, with Tehran 
remaining non-committal over an international incentives package aimed at 
enticing it to suspend uranian enrichment.

ABC Asia Pacific TV / Radio Australia

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