Obama and China’s Xi discuss Iran, North Korea: White House


WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama told his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Monday he was determined to constructively manage growing differences between their two nations, at a time of high tensions in the Pacific region.

In a telephone call, Obama and Xi also discussed the international effort to reach a deal on Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna and the need to ensure North Korea complies with demands for it to dismantle its nuclear program, the White House said in a statement.

The conversation took place after the annual US and China Strategic and Economic Dialogue between high ranking officials on both sides in Beijing last week.

The talks apparently did little more than paper over rising US-China differences including on trade and cyber hacking.

The two sides also disagreed on how to resolve tensions in the South and East China Seas, amid warnings from the United States that Beijing risks triggering conflict as it presses its claims to large swathes of territory — to the alarm of many US allies in the region.

The White House statement said however that the dialogue had yielded “important progress.”

“The President reaffirmed his commitment to developing a relationship defined by increased practical cooperation and constructive management of differences,” the statement said.

“The President and President Xi discussed the need for continued US-China cooperation in the ongoing P5+1 negotiations with Iran and the implementation of (an interim nuclear deal),” the statement said.

“The President also stressed the need for enhanced communication and coordination on actions with China to ensure North Korea meets its denuclearization commitments.”

Obama also told Xi that he was looking forward to seeing him at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Beijing in November.



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