A top Chinese diplomat has highlighted the significance of remaining committed to dialogue in addressing Iran's nuclear energy issue as part of the efforts to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East.

"Commitment to dialogue and negotiations in addressing Iran’s nuclear [energy] issue is of great significance in maintaining stability and peace and avoiding great upheaval in the Middle East region," China's permanent representative to the United Nations Li Baodong said addressing an open meeting of the UN Security Council on nuclear non-proliferation on Thursday.

"All sides must maintain the existing common understanding, engage in constructive dialogue, cooperate with great faith, build mutual trust gradually, and eventually, address the Iran nuclear [energy] issue in a comprehensive, just, and appropriate manner," he said.

China and Russia, as two veto-wielding powers at the UN Security Council, have persistently expressed their support for Iran's civilian nuclear program, voicing opposition to further sanctions against Tehran.

Iran and the P5+1 - Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany -- wrapped up their latest negotiations in the Turkish city of Istanbul on April 14 and agreed to hold the next round of the talks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on May 23, 2012.

Both sides hailed the Istanbul talks as positive and constructive.

Tehran says it is ready to continue the talks based on common grounds, adding however, that it has no intention of backing down on its nuclear rights.
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