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China backs Kenya on trial of state leaders

Updated: 2013-11-19 18:33
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - China said on Tuesday it will continue to back Kenya and the African Union (AU) after the UN Security Council denied a delay of the trials of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei expressed "deep regret" at a daily briefing at the failure of the Security Council to adopt a draft resolution on deferring International Criminal Court (ICC) proceedings against the two leaders.

Kenyatta and Ruto face ICC trials for their alleged roles in murders, deportation or forcible transfer of population, and persecution during Kenya's 2007-2008 post-election violence.

The delay, which is backed by the AU, was sought so the Kenyan leaders could deal with the aftermath of the September Westgate Mall terrorist attack in Nairobi, in which more than 60 people were killed.

"The request of Kenya and the AU is in line with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, conducive to regional peace, security and stability, and shows the most basic respect to the state leaders elected by the Kenyan people," Hong said.

China believes that on matters concerning African peace and stability,the Security Council should listen and respond to the common aspirations of the AU and other African countries, Hong said.

China firmly supports the African countries' stance and voted for the resolution, Hong said, adding that China will continue to support their effort to find an appropriate solution on the issue.

Ruto's trial already is under way in The Hague, home of the ICC. Kenyatta's trial has been postponed until next February. However, African countries have called for the ICC proceedings against the Kenyan leaders to be deferred for one year.

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