Obama and Xi discuss cyber issues, prepare for US visit

[WASHINGTON] US President Barack Obama called for "swift work" by Beijing to narrow their differences on cyber issues, the White House said, as the two sides start planning for Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Washington in September.

The world's two biggest economies have been trying to ease tensions amid mutual accusations of hacking and Internet theft.

In a phone call with Xi, Obama said he looked forward to welcoming him to Washington for a state visit later this year, the statement added.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua said that Xi would visit in September. "During the conversation, both sides agreed to make full preparations to ensure the success of the trip," the report said.

The White House added: "The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to coordinate closely on security challenges, including by jointly encouraging Iran to seize the historic opportunity presented by P5+1 negotiations." The nuclear talks with the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France are aimed at clinching an accord that would ease Western concerns that Tehran could pursue a convert nuclear weapons programme, in return for the lifting of sanctions that have ravaged the Iranian economy.

Negotiators have set a June 30 final deadline for an accord, and Western officials have said they aim to agree on the substance of that deal by March.



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