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Britain FM: China Agrees to Press Iran About Nuclear Programs

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband says Britain and China agree on the need to press Iran about its nuclear programs while also seeking engagement with Tehran.

Miliband says Britain and China share an interest in making sure Iran abides by U.N. Security Council resolutions seeking to curb its nuclear activities.

Miliband commented Monday from China where he is on a tour to boost bilateral relations. During the trip, he plans to discuss Iran's nuclear program and other issues with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says negotiators are close to entering a phase where sanctions should be taken against Iran. She says Tehran has "rejected all constructive offers" put forward by international negotiators.

She commented Monday during a news conference in Germany with Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri

China, Britain and Germany are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

China has resisted calls from other council members for harsher sanctions against the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful, but Western nations say Iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.