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Obama Stresses U.S.-Chinese Cooperation On Iran Nuclear Issue

Obama and Hu met in person in Beijing in November 2009.
The White House says President Barack Obama has discussed the Iranian nuclear issue in an hour-long telephone call with China's President Hu Jintao.

A White House statement said Obama "underscored the importance" of the United States and China "working together to ensure that Iran lives up to its international obligations" on the nuclear question.

The two leaders spoke after the White House earlier on April 1 welcomed China's decision to join talks with Western powers and Russia about a potential new round of UN sanctions against Iran. In a Foreign Ministry statement, China had pledged to continue to work for a "peaceful resolution" of the standoff over Iran's nuclear program.

The White House statement also welcomed the Chinese president's plans to attend a summit in Washington on nuclear proliferation later this month. The statement said the summit will present an "important opportunity" for the United States and China to "address their shared interest in stopping nuclear proliferation and protecting against nuclear terrorism."

The statement added that the U.S. and Chinese leaders also "discussed the importance of developing a positive bilateral relationship."

Meanwhile, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, Said Jalili, is in Beijing for talks with Chinese officials.

New Push For Sanctions

In London, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have backed plans to push for tighter sanctions against Iran.

After the meeting on April 1, Brown's office said "there was strong support from both leaders for sanctions and agreement on the continued need to engage with international partners on the issue."

Earlier this week, Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy pledged tougher action against Tehran over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

Compiled from agency reports