Peres: China can be key to stopping Iran

In talks with Chinese counterpart, president points to China's involvement in resolving N. Korean standoff.

peres Jintao 224.88 (photo credit: AP [file])
peres Jintao 224.88
(photo credit: AP [file])
China can be a key player in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons as well as in the war on terror, President Shimon Peres told his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in Beijing on Friday morning, pointing to China's involvement in resolving the North Korean nuclear standoff. In a meeting ahead of the Olympic Games opening ceremony, Jintao reassured Peres that China was closely following developments in the Middle East and would work to advance peace and prevent acts of terror. "We are interested in increasing our contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East," said Jintao, according to a statement released by Peres's office. "We are following every regional development in the Middle East and Iran and we are acting constructively to bolster China's involvement in and contribution to peace and stability." During their meeting in their meeting at the Chinese Parliament building, the two also spoke of strengthening ties between their countries and Peres invited Jintao to visit Israel. Earlier, Peres met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Afghan President Hamid Karzai in the Chinese capital. Also Thursday, Peres visited the Israel delegation in the Olympic Village and helped raise their spirits, which were dampened earlier in the day by the tragic news of the passing of the father of swimmer Alon Mandel. Peres wished the team well and told them that the Olympics were the most non-racist event in the world. Color, creed and nationality made no difference, said Peres. It was simply a matter of who could go faster or higher. Peres reminded the team that although Jews had often suffered discrimination in many places, they came to the Olympics as equals.