BEIJING - China's president told his Iranian counterpart to seize the opportunity to improve relations with world powers, as diplomats hope to clinch a preliminary deal to curb Iran's nuclear programme in charged talks resuming in Geneva on Wednesday.
The United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany came close to winning concessions from Iran on the scope of its nuclear work in return for some sanctions relief at negotiations in the Swiss city on Nov. 7-9.
Policymakers have said that an interim accord on steps to start defusing a decade of hostility between the West and Iran could be within reach during talks this week.
President Xi Jinping praised Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for his government's "proactive conduct" on nuclear talks and its efforts to improve relations with the international community, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Tuesday.
"China hopes Iran seizes the opportunity, maintains the dialogue momentum, and seeks the greatest common factor to strive for the best results," Xinhua cited Xi as saying in a phone call with Rouhani.
China will continue to exert a proactive influence in six-party talks to create conditions for a long-term resolution, Xi said.