China urges US not to complicate Masood Azhar's listing by forcefully moving resolution in UNSC

Beijing: China on Thursday urged the US not to complicate the listing of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by "forcefully moving" a resolution directly in the UNSC, undermining the authority of the UN's main anti-terrorism body. The US, supported by France and the UK, has moved a draft resolution in the UN Security Council to blacklist the Pakistan-based terror group's chief, two weeks after China put a hold on a proposal to list Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.

 China urges US not to complicate Masood Azhars listing by forcefully moving resolution in UNSC

File image of JeM chief Masood Azhar. AFP

Asked about the development, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing that Washington move only complicates the issue. "This is not in line with resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiations. This has reduced the authority of the Committee as a main anti-terrorism body of the UNSC and this is not conducive to the solidarity and only complicates the issue."

"We urge the US to act cautiously and avoid forcefully moving forward this draft resolution," Geng said. "Since China needs more time to conduct in-depth and comprehensive review, we put a technical hold to the relevant listing on 13 March," he said, referring to the previous move by France, the US and the UK. This is in line with the rules and procedure of the committee and there are some precedents of such "technical holds", he said. The listing of Masood involves a series of complex factors and China has also been working to seek a proper solution through dialogue and consensus, Geng said.

"Under the current circumstances, the Security Council should act in a prudent way to play a constructive role and create the necessary time and space for the relevant parties to conduct dialogue and negotiations," he said referring to China's hold on the proposal. The US has bypassed the 1267 Committee and directly filed the draft resolution to the Security Council. This is not in line with the resolution of the issue through dialogue and negotiations, Geng added.

UN sources in New York told PTI that this is the "first time" the US, the UK and France have moved a draft resolution directly in the Security Council to designate Azhar. The previous have been listing proposals in the Sanctions Committee of the Council to designate Azhar. Unlike a listing proposal, which is generally under a 10- day no objection period, the draft resolution is not under any no-objection provision.

A UNSC designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms embargo. An assets freeze under the Sanctions Committee requires that all states freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of designated individuals and entities.

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Updated Date: Mar 28, 2019 20:01:34 IST