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Hu, Obama Discuss Iran Nuclear Program

U.S. President Barack Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington
U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao have discussed Iran's nuclear program on the sidelines of the nuclear safety summit in Washington.

White House national security aide Jeff Bader said Beijing expressed a willingness to work with Washington.

Still, AP reports the meeting produced no breakthroughs.

Chinese spokesman Ma Zhaoxu did not mention sanctions in a statement on Hu's meeting with Obama.

Ma said China hopes all parties will step up diplomatic efforts and seek ways to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through negotiations.

Obama has been pushing for a fourth round of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran for its failure to halt its uranium-enrichment program.

China -- a permanent member of the UN Security Council -- has said it would rather solve the standoff without sanctions.

Russia, also a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has cautioned against applying energy sanctions against Iran, the type of penalty said to be favored by Washington.

Interviewed on U.S. television, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said such sanctions could cause what he called a "humanitarian catastrophe."

Brazil and Turkey -- two nonpermanent seats on the UN Security Council -- are studying an alternative proposal to deal with Iran, according to Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim.

He said Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had talked about designing a strategy different from sanctions at a meeting on April 12.

Erdogan said at a speech on the sidelines of the conference that his country does not want Iran or any other nation to have nuclear weapons.

compiled from agency reports