Plea to back new curbs on Iran rejected

By Li Fei (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-10-31 07:44

China Tuesday rejected Israel's call for tougher sanctions against Iran.

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni met with Premier Wen Jiabao to ask China to support new sanctions against Iran. But Wen rejected the idea.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (right) greets visiting Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in Beijing Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007. [Xinhua]
"We believe there is a need to raise the sanctions to stop Iran (from getting nuclear weapons)," she said at a press conference Tuesday.

Her meeting with Premier Wen lasted 30 minutes longer than scheduled.

Speaking to students at a university in Beijing on Monday, Livni had said that China could "play a crucial role" in defusing the Iranian nuclear issue.

At a press conference Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said China doesn't support imposing sanctions at random in international relations.

"China has always believed that unbridled use of sanctions should be discouraged in dealing with international issues. We believe a peaceful resolution to the Iran nuclear issue through diplomacy to be the best option that would serve the common interests of the international community best," Liu said.

Sanctions should be avoided in order not to make the situation more complicated because the parties involved, including Iran, are trying to resolve the nuclear issue through talks.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told Livni during their talks yesterday that China is willing to continue playing a constructive role to resolve the Middle East issue.

Describing her first visit to China as "fruitful", Livni said she was wrapping up her three-day visit with a memorandum of implementation on Chinese tour groups to Israel. It was signed by the two countries and officially grants Israel the Approved Destination Status for Chinese tourists.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni listens to a question during a news conference in Beijing October 30,2007. [Agencies] 

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