Masood Azhar issue at UNSC headed for settlement, but no Apr 23 deadline: Chinahttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/china-united-nations-masood-azhar-global-terrorist-5680457/

Masood Azhar issue at UNSC headed for settlement, but no Apr 23 deadline: China

“On the issue of listing Azhar, China's position remains unchanged. We also stay in communication with relevant parties. The matter is moving towards the direction of settlement," Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

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Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.

Dismissing reports that it had been given a deadline of April 23 by the US, UK and France to lift its “technical hold” on the proposal to list Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist at the United Nations, China on Wednesday said the issue was moving towards a settlement.

The development comes after reports said P-3 countries — US, UK and France — had fixed April 23 as the deadline for China to lift its technical hold in the 1267 Committee or else they would press for a discussion on the issue at the UNSC.

“You need to get clarification from the sources about where you get such information. China’s position is very clear. This issue should be resolved through cooperation. We don’t believe that any efforts without the consensus of members will achieve satisfying results,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.

After the Pulwama attack in February, where a Jaish suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF personnel, a fresh proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council was moved by France, the UK and the US.

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However, China, a veto-wielding member of the UNSC, blocked the bid by putting a technical hold on the proposal — its fourth overall. However, the key takeaway for India was that for the first time since 2009, it got 13 co-sponsors for the proposal.

“On the issue of listing Azhar, China’s position remains unchanged. We also stay in communication with relevant parties. The matter is moving towards the direction of the settlement,” Kang further said.

Earlier this month, after the US threatened to use ‘all available resources’ to get Azhar designated as a global threat, China said it would further complicate peace and stability in South Asia.

“The relevant parties are forcing new resolution through the UN Security Council. We firmly oppose that. In fact, the relevant discussion in UNSC, most members expressed wish that this issue should be discussed within the 1267 committee and they don’t hope to bypass it to handle the issue,” Kang said.

Without directly referring to the US, Lu said, “We hope the relevant country can respect the opinion of most members of the UNSC to act in a cooperative manner and help this issue be properly resolved within the framework of the 1267 Committee.”

(With PTI inputs)