China to host meeting on Iran in Shanghai next week
Amidst reports that Iran has begun installing 6,000 new centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant, China on Tuesday announced it would host a meeting of major powers in Shanghai on April 16 to discuss ways to resume talks on Tehran's nuclear issue.
Top officials of five UN Security Council members -- the US, Russia, Britain, France and China -- as also Germany would promote resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told reporters.
Foreign Ministers of major powers had earlier met in March and issued a joint statement affirming that the issue should be resolved through negotiations and had agreed to reach a plan to resume the dialogue at an early date.
Jiang said the meeting was being held to implement the consensus of the six nations.
China believed that the standoff should be "peacefully resolved" through dialogue and negotiations, she said.
"Under the current circumstances, the relevant parties should fully display creativity and flexibility in proactively seeking comprehensive, long term and proper resolution of the issue," she said.
China hoped that the Shanghai meeting would yield "positive results" for resolving the issue, Jiang said.
The initiative from China, which has persisted with its stand that diplomatic route was the way to end Iran's nuclear standoff with the West, comes even as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reported as saying that his country had begun installing new centrifuges at its plant in Natanz.
The US has been pushing for harsher action against Iran to force it to abandon its programme.