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Xi, Merkel hold phone talks on ties, Ukraine crisis

Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday discussed relations between their two countries and the Ukraine crisis in a phone conversation.

Speaking highly of the development of China-Germany ties, Xi said he is looking forward to his state visit to Germany and to in-depth exchange of views with Merkel on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern.

The president said he welcomes Merkel's visit to China this year.

For her part, Merkel voiced her belief that Xi's upcoming visit to Germany will be successful and will boost further development of the two countries' strategic partnership.

Merkel sent her condolences over the missing of a passenger jet of Malaysia Airlines with 239 people on board. Xi said China is in contact with Malaysia and other countries and is exerting all efforts for search and rescue operations in the hope of finding survivors.

On the Ukraine crisis, Merkel said Germany hopes for an appropriate solution through dialogue, adding that her country attaches importance to China's role and is willing to strengthen communication with China on the issue.

Xi said that as the current situation in Ukraine is very complicated and highly sensitive, various factors should be taken into consideration in the handling of the crisis.

He called on all parties concerned to exercise restraint and seek a political solution through dialogue and negotiations within the framework of law and order, so as to avoid further escalation of the situation.

China supports the international community's efforts and mediation, Xi said, voicing the hope that Germany would continue to communicate with other relevant parties and further play a constructive role. China is willing to keep contact with Germany on the issue, he said.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 09Mar14]

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