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QINGDAO, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, agreed Sunday to step up pragmatic co-operation between the two countries.

The two leaders reached the consensus during talks after attending the 18th Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO) summit in this coastal city in in eastern China's Shandong Province.

Xi welcomed Rouhani for visiting China and attending the summit. Recalling that China and Iran announced the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership during his State visit to Iran in 2016, Xi said the two countries since then had increased co-operation and fully implemented the consensus reached between him and President Rouhani.

China and Iran have reaped fruitful results in various areas of cooperation and witnessed increasingly closer people-to-people exchanges, Xi said.

Noting that there is potential for China and Iran to deepen their relations, Xi said China is ready to work with Iran to jointly promote steady and long-term development of the comprehensive strategic partnership.

Xi called upon the two sides to take deepening political relations as the overarching principle to continuously enhance strategic mutual trust, increase exchanges at all levels, and continue to understand and support each other on issues of major concerns involving their respective core interests.

China and Iran should boost pragmatic cooperation focusing on the Belt and Road Initiative, promote law enforcement and security cooperation centering on counter-terrorism, and deepen people-to-people exchanges and cooperation with the aim to enhance China-Iran friendship, Xi said.

Describing the Iran nuclear deal as an important outcome of multilateralism, Xi said the deal is conducive to safeguarding peace and stability in the Middle East and the international non-proliferation regime, and should continue to be implemented earnestly.

China consistently stands for peaceful settlement to international disputes and hotspot issues, and is ready to strengthen co-operation with Iran under multilateral frameworks and promote the building of a new type of international relations, Xi said.

Rouhani offered his congratulations on the successful conclusion of the SCO Qingdao summit.

Xi's visit to Iran two years ago significantly elevated the bilateral relations, said Rouhani, adding that Iran feels happy about the smooth development of the Iran-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

Iran is willing to deepen pragmatic co-operation in various areas with China, and well implement co-operation agreements on jointly building the Belt and Road, Rouhani noted.

The existence of the Iran nuclear deal is currently facing challenges, and Iran expects the international community, including China, to play a positive role in properly dealing with relevant issues, Rouhani said.

After the talks, Xi and Rouhani witnessed the signing of bilateral co-operation agreements.


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