China warn US on Mideast stance
Updated: 2006-07-28 07:12
UNITED NATIONS - China on Thursday warned the United States that its
opposition to a statement condemning a deadly attack on a U.N. post in Lebanon
could have a "negative impact" on U.N. talks on Iran's nuclear ambitions.
United States was blocking a U.N. Security Council statement on Israel's attack
on the outpost in southern Lebanon, despite what council diplomats called many
compromises by Beijing.
file photo shows Chinese Ambassador to the UN Wang Guangya (R) speaking at
the United Nations in New York July 13, 2006. [Reuters]
But the envoys said there was some hope a policy statement would be adopted
late on Thursday.
"This is a serious matter," China's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya told
reporters after a private meeting with the U.S. negotiators. "It is an attack on
the U.N. peacekeepers."
"If the Security Council cannot send a strong political message supporting
our guys on the ground, it will be difficult for people to understand," Wang
Four unarmed U.N. observers -- from China, Austria, Canada and Finland --
were killed on Tuesday after firing by the Israeli military at the outpost. U.N.
officials said numerous calls had been made to the Israeli military and its
diplomats in New York to protest repeated firing on the outpost.
Asked about the negotiations on a resolution on Iran that six nations are
conducting, Wang said nearly every delegation in the council was frustrated over
the U.S. position.
"Definitely this frustration will have its negative impact," Wang said. "I
believe it will affect it negatively."
Careful not to mention the United States by name, he said reluctance by one
government "definitely will affect smooth cooperation on other issues."
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton early on Wednesday said there was no evidence
Israel's attack was deliberate, and Wang agreed to take out some phrases. But no
agreement was reached.
Molly Phee, a U.S. deputy political counselor, made no comment. She was
filling in for Bolton, in Washington for a Senate confirmation hearing on his
nomination as U.N. ambassador.