China's Hu urges Iran to be 'flexible': Xinhua

China's President Hu Jintao called on his Iranian counterpart Friday to be "flexible and pragmatic" ahead of talks on Tehran's nuclear programme, the state Xinhua news agency said.

Hu also urged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to cooperate with the UN nuclear agency, as the two leaders held talks in Beijing ahead of a meeting next month of the so-called P5+1 group -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

Western powers and Israel suspect Iran is trying to develop a bomb behind the veil of its civilian nuclear programme, a charge denied by Tehran which says it is developing civilian atomic power.

The UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will urge Iran in talks later Friday to allow it access to sites where Tehran is suspected of working on an atomic bomb, particularly a military base near the capital.

China hopes Iran can "take a flexible and pragmatic approach, have serious talks with all six related nations, and enhance dialogues and cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency so as to ensure the tensions can be eased through negotiations", Xinhua quoted Hu as saying.

The two leaders met after China and Russia this week issued a joint statement opposing the use of force on Iran.

Russia is preparing to host the latest round of talks between world powers and Iranian negotiators later this month in a bid to find a diplomatic solution to the standoff over Iran's nuclear programme.

Source: AFP

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