June 18, 2013 9:55:44 am
UN leader Ban Ki-moon will launch talks with Chinese leaders in Beijing today,with North Korea and Syria set to top the agenda. Ban is set to meet with President Xi Jinping and other top leaders during a three-day stay in Beijing.
“He is going to be meeting the president,the premier,senior officials. He will be visiting a peacekeeping academy there,” said deputy UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey.
The spokesman refused to disclose the topics that Ban would discuss. Diplomats said,however,that the worsening Syrian conflict and North Korea must top Ban’s list in Beijing. “Ban has taken a hard line on Syria,where China has sided with Russia. But North Korea is also an urgent problem for everyone,” said a UN Security Council diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity.
China has sided with Russia three times in using a veto against Western-proposed UN Security Council resolutions that would increase pressure on Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. The UN has spoken out against China’s treatment of North Korean refugees,but North Korea’s nuclear program is also a major UN concern.
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Ban noted North Korea’s offer to hold talks with its arch-rival the United States,according to del Buey. “He has consistently stated that the parties should
resolve their differences through dialogue and for any dialogue to be meaningful,it should be firmly anchored in the common goal of the verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” added the spokesman.
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