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US, France & UK in intense discussions with China on Azhar listing at UN

March 16, 2019 10:49


 The US, France and the UK are believed to be in intense "good faith" discussions with China to arrive at a "compromise", including on the language on the UN designation of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, according to people familiar with the matter.

On Wednesday, China blocked for the fourth consecutive time a resolution at the UN Security Council Committee on designating Azhar, head of the JeM terror group, as a global terrorist.

The 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 on February 27, days after a suicide bomber of the JeM killed 44 CRPF soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, leading to a flare-up in tensions between India and Pakistan.

If the fresh efforts by the US, France and the UK does not end up in the formal designation of Azhar, the three permanent members are planning to soon move a resolution for his listing in the most powerful wing of the UN which would be preceded by an open debate on the issue, according to people familiar with the matter.

India had expressed disappointment over the Chinese stance and the original co-sponsors of the resolution had warned they will consider "other actions" to achieve their goal.

While the internal consultations of the Security Council committee remain private, this time several Council members, frustrated at China's unreasonable stance to protect a terrorist, privately spoke to the media the negative role being played by Beijing.

"If China continues to block this designation, responsible member-states may be forced to pursue other actions at the Security Council. It shouldn't have to come to that," a Security Council diplomat said on Wednesday in an unusual tough warning to Beijing.

In the last 50 hours, it is believed that the original sponsors of the Azhar resolution are having intense "good faith" consultations with China on what many familiar with the matter describe as a "compromise". This probably means Azhar would be designated as a global terrorist by the UN body, but the language of designation would include a language acceptable to China.

China is believed to have suggested "certain changes" in the language of the terrorist designation. The US, Britain and France are believed to be currently looking at the suggestions. It is understood that there is back-and-forth exchange of texts on the matter.  

-- PTI

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