Beijing: British Foreign Secretary said on Tuesday his country would work closely with China to resolve the stalemate over Iran's nuclear programme, but failed to secure any firm backing from Beijing for new sanctions against Iran.
On a mission to China to persuade Beijing to give up
its opposition to UN sanctions against Iran over Tehran’s
nuclear programme, David Miliband said the two countries are
"going to work very closely together to achieve it".
Dealing with Iran's nuclear programme was "a test for
all of us". "We have a shared goal in ensuring that Iran lives
by its commitments under the non-proliferation treaty and we
are going to work very closely together to achieve it," he
said while interacting with mediapersons here today after
talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.
The US, France, the UK, Russia, China and Germany
are currently discussing the possibility of new economic
sanctions against Iran for carrying on with its uranium
enrichment programme but China which has veto power in UN
Security Council so far steadfastly opposed it.
Yang said China had become "more concerned" about
Iran but stopped short of expressing China’s support to plan
for sanctions against Tehran.
He said tougher sanctions, favoured by Western
nations, were not "a fundamental solution" to the problem.
Even as Yang admitted that China has become more
concerned about international tensions over Tehran's nuclear
programme, he underlined that sanctions do not provide a
fundamental solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.
"China has become more concerned about the current
situation. I have said before that sanctions do not provide a
fundamental solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. Ultimately,
this issue has to be resolved through peaceful negotiations,"
Chinese foreign minister said.
However, he made it clear that "we will continue to
make active efforts to bring about a diplomatic solution to
the Iran nuclear issue."
Yang said that relations with the UK were "developing
in a positive direction". "We are committed to working with
Britain to advance the comprehensive strategic partnership,"
Earlier, Miliband who arrived yesterday, called on
China to do more to improve workers' rights, property rights
and free access to information.
He also said the futures of Britain and China were
"linked together", and while the two countries' relationship
had difficulties, they should be partners, not competitors.
The relations between the two countries soured last
year when China ignored personal appeals from British Prime
Minister Gordon Brown not to execute 53-year-old Briton Akmal
Shaikh for drug smuggling.
Britain also accused China of "hijacking” efforts
to reach an agreement at the climate summit in Copenhagen.
First Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 20:23