President Hu Jintao and his US counterpart, Barack Obama, have agreed to respect each other's core interests, a senior Chinese diplomat said, in trying to set an upbeat tone ahead of a nuclear summit in Washington following a period of tension. Foreign Affairs Vice-Minister Cui Tiankai confirmed that both leaders will meet to 'have an in-depth exchange on major bilateral and international issues' on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit on Monday and Tuesday. They are expected to discuss the global economy, energy and currency issues, as well as nuclear non-proliferation, which is a key agenda item for the nuclear summit. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs also confirmed the meeting on Tuesday. Hu will speak at the summit, delivering the first speech by a Chinese leader on nuclear security issues at a multilateral forum. Hu will also talk to leaders from the four largest developing economies. In a telephone conversation on Friday between Hu and Obama, 'both leaders reached an important new consensus on issues of mutual concern and other issues', Cui told a briefing regarding Hu's trip. '[The leaders] agreed their countries should respect each other's core interests and major concerns, appropriately handling disputes and sensitive issues, strengthening communication and co-operation in various spheres,' Cui said. Relations between the two powers had recently reached a low ebb during Obama's administration, as spats arose over trade, currency, US arms sales to Taiwan, Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama, and Chinese internet controls. But both sides have taken recent steps to tone down their public disputes. Then came the decision that Hu would join Obama's summit, and the US moved to delay a Treasury Department report that could have branded China a currency manipulator. Beijing sees its sovereignty over Taiwan and Tibet as one of its 'core national interests'. It still regards the self-ruled island as a breakaway province and condemns the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, as a separatist for seeking self-rule for his homeland, a charge he denies. On the nuclear issue, Cui said foreign nations should not suspect China's nuclear strategy. 'China's strategic significance has all along been very important,' he said. 'Since the 1960s, we have repeatedly stressed our position on this issue; it has not changed. 'If we are to look at this objectively and fairly, there should not be any suspicions.' A new global nuclear report released by the Obama administration on Tuesday criticises Beijing's nuclear programmes as lacking in transparency, which 'raises questions about China's future strategic intentions'. The Nuclear Posture Review said the United States would pursue high-level dialogues with China on nuclear safety. Cui declined to comment on whether Hu's speech would mention the Iranian nuclear issue. Asked about Beijing's stance on Iran's nuclear programme, Cui said 'hot spot' nuclear issues were not the focus of the summit. He did not elaborate. Professor Jin Canrong, associate dean of Renmin University's School of International Relations, said progress in their recent negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme was possible, although Beijing has stuck to its position that continued diplomacy is the way to resolve the Iran issue. Until recently, Beijing has not approved US-initiated sanctions against Tehran. As Obama is seeking China's support on other global issues, such as curbing the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea, inflaming Sino-US relations over trade and Beijing's currency policy would not be advisable, analysts said. Cui also said Brazil, Russia, India and China would expand the strategic agreements among them when they meet for a summit in Brazil later this month. China is expected to sign agreements on energy and finance with Brazil and Venezuela during Hu's trip. China also aims to expand its co-operation with Brazil on aviation.