China and Germany Stress United Front on Iran | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 26.09.2008
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China and Germany Stress United Front on Iran

In a private meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, the foreign ministers of China and Germany urged world powers to come together in their approach towards Iran over its disputed nuclear program.

The flags of China, Germany and Iran

China and Germany show their solidarity with one another in their approach towards Iran

Following the cancellation of a meeting this week on Iran's nuclear endeavors, Yang Jiechi of China and Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier nonetheless met to discuss the matter.

In the meeting "both ministers underlined the importance of the 3+3 format and called for a united front on the issue," according to a delegation member at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Britain and Germany, as well as four permanent members of the Security Council -- France, Russia, China and the United States -- were slated to discuss Iran's nuclear activity together however the meeting was cancelled when Russia pulled out of the event on short notice.

Iran denies nuclear program

Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (right) greets his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi in Berlin in January 2008

Yang and Steinmeier didn't let the cancelled meeting prevent them from discussing Iran

The West maintains that Iran is determined to produce an atomic bomb -- a charge which Tehran has strongly denied. Following the cancelled group meeting, Steinmeier and Yang underlined that pressuring Iran to halt uranium enrichment would be difficult if the world powers did not demonstrate a united front on the matter.

According to the delegation member, Steinmeier and China's foreign minister also discussed last month's war in Georgia as well as the financial crisis in the US. They concluded that the latter points to the need for "better financial regulations."

Mended Fences

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Dalai Lama in Berlin on September 23, 2007

Merkel's decision to meet with the Dalai Lama was a move that angered China

The private meeting and joint plea that the big players sit down together and draw up a united approach towards Iran were evidence of improved relations between Germany and China.

Steinmeier commented that he was pleased to see the countries' ties returning to normal. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to meet last year with the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, had caused a rift between her nation and China.

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