Miliband fails to get China`s support for Iran sanctions
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 20:23
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," he said.

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

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