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Obama discusses Iran's nuclear program with Chinese leader

02 April 2010 [11:13] - TODAY.AZ
President Barack Obama spoke for an hour with China's president on the phone from Air Force One Thursday night, welcoming the Chinese leader's decision to attend a nuclear security summit in Washington and discussing how to deal with Iran's nuclear program.

The lengthy conversation finished only after Obama landed at Andrews, keeping the plane with the traveling press and White House aides idling on a runway for about 15 minutes.

A White House statement said the nuclear summit two weeks from now "will be an important opportunity for them to address their shared interest in stopping nuclear proliferation and protecting against nuclear terrorism."

Relations between the two nations have cooled recently over issues including U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and the Dalai Lama's visit to Washington. During the hourlong conversation, Obama and Hu also discussed the importance of developing a positive bilateral relationship, the White House said.

"Obama underscored the importance of working together to ensure that Iran lives up to its international obligations," the statement said. "He also emphasized the importance of the United States and China along with other major economies implementing the G-20 commitments designed to produce balanced and sustainable growth."

China had announced earlier in the day that Hu would travel to Washington, ending some concern over whether he would attend the gathering hosted by Obama.

Obama's plane arrived at Andrews shortly before 11 p.m. following his trip to New England for a speech, two fundraisers and an impromptu visit with emergency workers dealing with this week's widespread flooding in the Northeast.


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