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Friday, June 23, 2000, updated at 08:22(GMT+8)

Chinese, Iranian Presidents Hold Talks

Iranian President Receives Red-carpet Welcome in Beijing
Chinese President Jiang Zemin and visiting Iranian President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami held talks in Beijing Thursday.

Jiang expressed his belief that the Iranian president's visit will increase mutual understanding, promote friendship between the two peoples, and push forward the development of friendly and cooperative ties in all fields.

The two heads of state reviewed the development of bilateral relations, which they agreed are satisfactory.

China and Iran are both important countries in Asia and are both developing countries, Jiang said, adding that it is a consistent policy of the Chinese government to strengthen friendly cooperation with Iran in all fields.

Jiang said that he hoped that the leaders and governments of the two countries will strive together for the establishment of long-term Sino-Iranian friendship and extensive cooperative ties oriented toward the 21st century.

Khatami said that the trend in the development of bilateral relations is good at the moment, adding that Iran will work with China to further promote bilateral relations. He said that he believed that his current visit will benefit the growth of bilateral relations.

The two sides expressed satisfaction with the progress in bilateral trade and economic ties.

Jiang said that China regards Iran as an important trade partner in the Persian Gulf, adding that both countries share strong complementarity in trade and economic cooperation.

The Chinese government encourages relevant companies to participate actively in Iran's economic construction, Jiang said, adding that he hoped that both sides will explore new modes of cooperation that tally with the characteristics of the time and the situation in both countries, so that bilateral trade and economic ties can be elevated to a new level.

Khatami agreed that the two countries share great potential in economic cooperation. Now that Iran has just unveiled its third five-year plan for economic, social and cultural development, hopefully China will play a greater role in Iran's economic construction, he said, adding that Chinese entrepreneurs are welcome to explore business opportunities in Iran.

Khatami reiterated Iran's adherence to the one-China Policy, for which Jiang expressed his appreciation.

After listening to Khatami's advocacy of dialogue between civilizations, Jiang rated it highly and said that he was pleased to find this idea positively supported by many countries. He noted that the United Nations has designated the year 2001 as the year of dialogue between civilizations.

Since assuming his post, President Khatami has adhered to a foreign policy of eliminating tension and implementing dialogue between civilizations, and has made efforts to improve relations with neighboring countries as well as with the European countries, Jiang said.

China appreciates the fact that significant progress has been achieved in these aspects, and hopes that Iran will score greater achievements in maintaining regional peace and stability, Jiang added.

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Chinese President Jiang Zemin and visiting Iranian President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami held talks in Beijing Thursday.

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