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Chinese, Russian Presidents Talk over Phone (3/18/2003)

China and Russia share the same stance on the Iraq crisis and would continue to enhance consultations and cooperation to safeguard world peace, the presidents of the two countries said in a telephone conversation on Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Hu Jintao on hiselection as China's president in the First Session of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC).
Russia would work with China to advance their bilateral good-neighborly cooperative friendship and the strategic cooperative partnership, Putin said.
Hu said the new Chinese government would continue to give priority to relations with Russia and to consolidate bilateral strategic cooperation for common prosperity and development.
China would make its due contribution to regional stability andworld peace, Hu said.
The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and the Iraq crisis. China had always advocated a political solution to the crisis within the framework of the United Nations, Hu said.
Arms inspections were the right way to solve the issue of Iraq's weapons of massive destruction, he said, noting China had made great efforts in this regard.
Hu mentioned an eminent Chinese expert who recently lost his life in carrying out UN inspections in Iraq.
Hu stressed the role of the United Nations and the importance of a political solution within the UN framework, saying the door to peace should not be shut.



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