Iran FM hails strategic ties with China
Iran's foreign minister has expressed optimism about the future of the Islamic Republic's relations with China and has hailed the close stances of the two allies on global issues, Press TV reported.
"Tehran-Beijing ties are strategic and their prospects are bright," Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters on Thursday in the Kazakh capital Astana, IRNA reported.
Salehi is currently in Astana as part of an Iranian delegation led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that is attending the 10th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit.
He said Iran and China have similar views on many important international issues, and the two countries plan to hold regular negotiations.
The Iranian foreign minister hailed the upcoming 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the People's Republic of China, saying it would be a turning point for the efforts to strengthen and expand the two nations' bilateral ties.
Salehi made the remarks after a meeting between Ahmadinejad and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
The two presidents discussed recent developments in North Africa and West Asia and bilateral economic and trade cooperation, Salehi explained and described the talks as positive and constructive.
During the their two-day meeting, the leaders of the six full members of the SCO -- China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan -- plan to adopt a new charter with a new article on observer states' accession to full membership in the intergovernmental security organization founded in 2001 in Shanghai.
Iran, India, Mongolia, and Pakistan are the four observer states of the SCO. Iran, which has held observer status since 2005, is seeking full membership.
Iran's full membership in the SCO would create a powerful coalition with China and Russia.