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China says will strengthen cooperation with Iran

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) talks to Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) during their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing on December 31, 2019. (Photo by Noel CELIS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by NOEL CELIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Chinese and Iranian flags at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing on December 31, 2019 [NOEL CELIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

China's President Xi Jinping, on Friday, said Beijing will strengthen cooperation with Iran, Anadolu News Agency reports.

"China is willing to strengthen cooperation with Iran within Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and other frameworks," Xi told his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi, in a phone call, the Chinese daily, Global Times, reported.

The phone call was held while the SCO is holding a summit of its foreign ministers in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. Iran is a member of the SCO.

Xi said China supports the "independent development paths" of Middle Eastern countries.

READ: What to expect after Putin's visit to Tehran

China and Iran have raised their bilateral relations to the strategic level and have also signed a deal under which Beijing will invest more than $400 billion in Iran in the next 25 years.

Earlier in the day, Xi also spoke to his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda.

Xi said that China sees Poland as a "preferred partner in Europe and is willing to increase political trust and continue to improve the comprehensive strategic partnership."

The duo also discussed the situation in Ukraine.​​​​​​​

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