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Presidents Hu, Bush to Meet in New York

Hu, Bush to Meet in New York: FM

President Hu Jintao and US President George W. Bush will meet in New York to discuss bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern on the sidelines of the UN 60th anniversary summit in mid-September, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The two heads of state made the agreement Saturday in their phone conversation.

They will also exchange views on matters concerning the UN, Qin Gang said at yesterday's regular press conference.

Hu will leave Beijing on Thursday to start his scheduled visits to Canada and Mexico, after which he will attend the UN summit, according to Qin.

During his Canada visit, Qin said Hu will meet with Canada's Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson and Prime Minister Paul Martin in Ottawa, and then travel to Toronto to attend the first forum on China-Canada economic and trade cooperation.

Further aid for US

The Chinese government will consider providing further aid for the US hit by Hurricane Katrina if it is needed, Qin said, adding that both sides need to discuss details.

He announced Saturday that China had decided to offer disaster relief up to US$5 million along with emergency supplies, and, if necessary, would send rescue teams to help with medical treatment and epidemic prevention in the disaster-stricken areas.

Hurricane Katrina hit the southern part of the US on August 29, causing widespread devastation.

On August 31, Hu sent a telegram to Bush, expressing sympathy and condolences to him, the US government and citizens.

Six-party talks

The fourth round of six-party talks should resume the week of September 12 and, as for the specific date, the Chinese side still needs to coordinate with the relevant parties, Qin said.

He said that all concerned parties would continue consultation and discussion on the related issues during the upcoming second phase of the fourth-round six-party talks.

The fourth round of the Korean nuclear talks that started on July 26 and broke for a recess on August 7 failed to resume as scheduled in the week of August 29. But North Korea has since agreed to rejoin the second phase of talks.

Qin said the parties concerned have continued with intense and frequent consultations and dialogue during the recess.

"Now all the relevant parties are working to specify the starting date of the second phase of talks," he said, hoping that during the talks, all parties would work toward realizing denuclearization and safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, show flexibility and narrow their differences, in a bid to attain progress in the six-party talks.

Human rights treaty

Qin said China is actively making preparations for the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was signed by the government in 1998.

He clarified that China's human rights organizations have started drafting a proposal to be submitted to the country's top legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), for approval of the treaty.

He also noted that the government is committed to judicial reform to strengthen the protection of human rights, in the light of China's current circumstances.

Iranian nuclear issue

Qin said China advocates that the Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN's nuclear watchdog.

He said resolving the issue via negotiations conforms to the interests of all countries concerned and is beneficial for the peace and stability in the region.

He also expressed the hope that all parties maintain patience and continue constructive cooperation to achieve a settlement of the issue.

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