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US wants separate summit with Putin at G8 in May: Moscow
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) April 13, 2012

The United States wants to hold a separate summit with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Group of Eight meeting at Camp David in May, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

"The Americans want a separate, independent Russian-American summit," Lavrov was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying after returning from a G8 foreign minister meeting in Washington.

He said that Putin will receive an official briefing on the US proposal after he is inaugurated on May 7 for a third term as Russian president.

"We will report to the president when he assumes his powers," Lavrov said.

"We are disposed to have continuity in relations, to continue to seek further spheres of shared interests-- of which there are many -- and where interests coincide, to agree on moving forward," he said.

Lavrov said that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will attend a women's right event in Russia's northwestern city of Saint Petersburg in June and that Moscow would hold talks with Clinton during that visit.

He also said that the US and Russia failed to reach any breakthrough on the contentious issue of a NATO-backed missile defence shield in Europe, which Moscow fiercely opposes, during their talks on the sidelines of the G8, but would continue the discussions.

"No agreement on missile defence has taken shape between Russia and the United States," but the two sides agreed that "experts must continue their work," he said.

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China's Wen to travel to four European countries
Beijing (AFP) April 13, 2012 - China said Friday Premier Wen Jiabao will travel to four European countries on a trip starting next week, just months after Beijing warned of an "urgent" need to solve the eurozone debt crisis.

Wen -- who has toured the old continent several times in the past -- will travel to Iceland, Sweden, Poland and Germany from April 20 to 27, China's foreign ministry announced.

He will attend the opening ceremony of the Hanover industrial fair, the ministry said, but gave few other details of his itinerary.

Wen will hold talks with leaders of each country, meet business people and deliver speeches outlining China's opening up policy and suggestions to promote bilateral and China-EU trade cooperation, it said.

Europe -- China's top export market -- has been hit by a severe debt crisis that has seen a wave of credit-rating downgrades and brought Greece to the brink of bankruptcy, sparking concern across the world.

Chinese investment in debt-stricken eurozone countries, meanwhile, has risen and caused concern, although Wen earlier this year sought to allay these fears, saying Beijing had neither the ability nor the intention to "buy Europe."

China has also said it is considering getting more involved in a bailout of struggling eurozone economies.


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Communist paper urges unity after China scandal
Beijing (AFP) April 12, 2012
China's top Communist Party newspaper on Thursday urged the country to unite behind the ruling party, as it seeks to minimise the fallout from the high-profile purge of top leader Bo Xilai. A front-page commentary in the People's Daily - mouthpiece of the party - urged Chinese people to "fully understand the great significance" of rising star Bo's suspension from the party, which had provo ... read more

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