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Russia, US leaders say keen to tackle Iran, N.Korea

Written by: Staff

HANOI, Nov 19 (Reuters) Russia and the United States, upbeat after striking a breakthrough bilateral deal on Moscow's entry into the WTO, appeared keen today to cooperate in handling other tricky issues like Iran or North Korea.

But Russian officials were fast to say Washington should not expect them to change immediately their stand on Iran's nuclear programme, which had put the two major powers at odds.

''We talked together about our common interests and about how we are going to work together to solve some of the world's problems, including Iran and North Korea,'' U S President George W Bush said after talks with Russia's Vladimir Putin.

The two met on the fringes of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Vietnamese capital two hours after their trade officials signed the deal on Russia's $1 trillion economy joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

''I agree with George that this creates a favourable atmosphere for all our activities, including solving complicated international issues,'' said Putin, clearly relaxed after marathon trade talks with the United States.

NO BIG CHANGE ON IRAN The two did not expand on their discussion, but differences over how to handle Iran's nuclear ambitions have been a key irritant in increasingly rocky bilateral relations along with the WTO talks, now defused by the agreement in Hanoi.


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