BEIJING, SEPT. 1 -- The Soviet and Chinese foreign ministers said today that peaceful means should be used to solve the Persian Gulf crisis.
Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze held three hours of talks here with his Chinese counterpart, Qian Qichen. Afterward, Shevardnadze said the two nations were willing to cooperate to resolve the gulf conflict peacefully.
"We did not have any disagreements," Shevardnadze said. "We both support peaceful means and peaceful channels to solve the gulf crisis."
Qian said Moscow and Beijing have "nearly identical" positions, agreeing "that parties should avoid the use of force to prevent an acceleration into war."
The two ministers, who spoke at separate news conferences, urged an Arab settlement of the crisis. They said they intend to keep open a triangle of communication among their nations and the United States.
Shevardnadze -- who is on a tour of China, North Korea and Japan -- said his talks here raised Sino-Soviet relations to a "unified new level in cooperation." Qian also cited a new atmosphere of trust between the two nations. Relations between the Communist powers, which split over ideological differences in 1960, have improved in the last decade, culminating in Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's May 1989 visit to Beijing to normalize ties.
Shevardnadze said the two sides will hold talks on their shared 4,300-mile border Sept. 10 in Moscow. China and the Soviets came close to war after border clashes in 1969. Gorbachev has pledged to withdraw 120,000 of the estimated 500,000 Soviet troops stationed along the border by year's end.