China, Germany Against Iran Nuke Program
May. 22, 2006
BEIJING (AP) _ German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that she and Chinese President Hu Jintao are united in their opposition to Iran possessing nuclear weapons and their determination that the dispute be settled diplomatically.
But Merkel, speaking after a meeting with Hu, did not say whether the two sides discussed possible sanctions on Tehran, which Germany supports and Beijing opposes.
China, one of the five permanent U.N. Security Council member, is at odds with a bloc of European countries including Germany over how to get Tehran to give up its nuclear program.
``We spoke in great detail about the possibilities of a diplomatic solution for Iran, that the conflict should be resolved by diplomatic means and Iran must not have nuclear weapons,'' Merkel said.
``We want to direct the efforts of the (international) community more strongly toward reaching this aim,'' she said.
The German leader said human rights was a focus of discussion in her meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao.
Merkel is leading a 40-member trade delegation that includes business executives and German Economy Minister Michael Glos and Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee.
The two governments signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in establishing high-speed railway transport in China, but there was no indication of whether Beijing planned to buy more German technology for magnetic-levitation railways.