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Iran and China look o strengthen ties after President Xi visit

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani today hailed a “new chapter” in relations with China after talks with President Xi Jinping, who is touring the region to boost Beijing’s economic influence.

The Asian giant and the Middle East’s foremost Shiite power aim to build economic ties worth up to USD 600 billion within the next 10 years, Rouhani announced.

The two leaders oversaw the signing of 17 agreements in areas including politics, the economy, security and cooperation on peaceful nuclear energy.

“With the Chinese president’s visit to Tehran and our agreements, a new chapter has begun in Tehran-Beijing relations,” Rouhani said in a televised speech, flanked by Xi.

It is the first visit to Iran by a Chinese president in 14 years, according to state news agency IRNA, and comes just days after sanctions against Tehran were lifted under a historic nuclear deal with world powers.

“Iran is China’s major partner in the Middle East and the two countries have chosen to boost bilateral relations,” IRNA quoted Xi as saying.

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