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Rice consults world powers

The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has consulted world powers on Iran's disputed nuclear programme.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2006 13:46 IST

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has consulted world powers on Iran's disputed nuclear programme, the State Department said.

Rice telephoned her Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing, said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack on Tuesday, confirming an announcement by the Chinese foreign affairs ministry.

The top US diplomat was "just touching base on the issue of Iran. "She's had a few conversations with some of her foreign minister colleagues, just to touch base on where we stand," the spokesman said.

A senior State Department official said Rice had spoken late on Monday with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso and on Tuesday with her counterparts Margaret Beckett of Britain and Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany.

"She is going to have some other talks" during the day, he said, citing Russia's chief diplomat, Sergei Lavrov.

Asked about the essence of her conversation with Aso, the State Department official said the two chief diplomats had discussed "what role Japan might play" with respect to Iran.

In announcing the telephone conversation between Li and Rice, the Chinese foreign ministry said, "China will continue to play a constructive role to help peacefully solve the Iran nuclear issue through negotiations".

The phone discussion came after China refused to join with other big powers in threatening sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme.