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China says backs EU approach to Iran stand-off

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, May 16 (Reuters) China today said it backed a European plan to resolve the Iranian nuclear stand-off and urged Iran to respond positively.

The European Union plans to offer Tehran enhanced incentives to halt sensitive nuclear activities that the West suspects are aimed at producing a bomb, coupled with a UN resolution threatening possible sanctions if it refuses.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said yesterday the European Union was ready to share the most sophisticated civilian nuclear technology with Iran if it agreed to halt uranium enrichment on its soil.

Liu suggested that Iran should react positively to the European proposal. He said all sides need to make ''active efforts'' to restart negotiations.

But he also said the European plan could be improved to satisfy the goals of both sides in the standoff.

''We also hope that the EU side will improve and propose a package plan that will both promote the goal of non-proliferation and take into account the reasonable concerns of Iran,'' he said.

Iran reiterated yesterday that it would reject any European proposal that demanded it halt uranium enrichment. Iran has said enrichment is a national right and has refused to comply with UN demands to halt the work.

REUTERS DKS RN1431

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