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Cablegate: October 15 Mfa Press Briefing: China-Iran Relations, Sco

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DE RUEHBJ #2884 2880924
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 150924Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6460
RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3610

UNCLAS BEIJING 002884

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PTER PARM CH IR AF UK

SUBJECT: OCTOBER 15 MFA PRESS BRIEFING: CHINA-IRAN RELATIONS, SCO
DISCUSSIONS ON AFGHANISTAN, ASIA-PACIFIC COOPERATION

1. Key points at the October 15 MFA press briefing:

-- PM Wen Jiabao met with Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza
Rahimi at the October 14 SCO Prime Minister's meeting. The MFA
spokesperson stated that "China values its relationship with Iran,"
seeks to advance "cooperation and coordination in international
affairs" with Iran and is "committed to settling the Iranian nuclear
issue."

--Afghanistan had been a topic of multilateral and bilateral
meetings at the SCO meeting.

--China was "ready to work with the United States to strengthen
cooperation in Asia-Pacific affairs."

-- Egypt will host the fourth ministerial forum on China-Africa
cooperation in early November.

China-Iran Relations
--------------------

2. At the October 15 session of the regularly scheduled Ministry of
Foreign Affairs press conference, spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu said
Premier Wen Jiabao met with Iranian First Vice President Mohammad
Reza Rahimi on October 14 at the Eighth Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO) Prime Minister's meeting. According to Ma, Wen
told Rahimi that "Sino-Iranian relations were in good shape" as
evidenced by the "frequency of high-level visits" and cooperation on
a wide range of issues. "China values its relationship with Iran"
and is ready to maintain contact to develop mutual trust" and
advance "cooperation and coordination in international affairs," Ma
said. China is also "committed to settling the Iranian nuclear
issue." Rahimi congratulated China on holding a successful SCO
meeting and said that Iran valued friendly relations with China and
that improved relations is the common aspiration of the Iranian and
Chinese peoples, Ma said.


SCO Discussions on Afghanistan
------------------------------

3. Ma said that China, and other Shanghai Cooperation Organization
(SCO) member states, are following the situation in Afghanistan
closely. SCO member states have made contributions to Afghanistan
"in their own ways" and, for its part, China hopes that Afghanistan
will be able to achieve peace and stability "at an early date." Ma
said the situation in Afghanistan was discussed in multilateral and
bilateral fora during the SCO meeting but did not offer any specific
information the meetings or on developments in Afghanistan.

China-Africa Ministerial
------------------------

4. Ma said Egypt would host the fourth ministerial forum on
China-Africa cooperation in early November. The meeting would
review and follow-up on action items from the Beijing summit and
"map out cooperation" for the next three years to "promote
China-Africa relations across a broad range of issues." Egypt would
serve as the president for the meeting and China would serve as
co-president. China was "working with relevant nations" to prepare
for the meeting, Ma said, adding that China hopes to "cooperate with
the African community" to implement the Beijing consensus.

Asia-Pacific Architecture
-------------------------

5. Asked about the role of the U.S. in regional architecture, Ma
replied that regional cooperation is a product of economic
globalization, economic integration and the geography of the
Asia-Pacific region. Asia-Pacific cooperation is "multi-tiered and
complimentary" and China is "ready to work with the United States to
strengthen cooperation in Asia-Pacific affairs."


Follow-up on A/S Campbell Visit
-------------------------------

6. Asked whether Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell had
invited China to send officials to Washington D.C. to discuss
Afghanistan, and Ma said he was unaware of such an invitation.


HUNTSMAN

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