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Chinese, US envoys clash at UN Security Council

Chinese, US envoys clash at UN Security Council

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Sep 17, 2019 - 13:59

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): China and Russia have clashed with the US and other Security Council members over Afghanistaninfo-icon, a media report said on Tuesday.

The verbal dispute took place between (UNSC) members over China’s insistence on including a reference to the “Belt and Road” global infrastructure programme in a resolution on UN mission in Afghanistan.

According to the Voice of America, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters that diplomats were working on a new text and “we’re in the process of reaching a compromise.”

He said the council would meet again on Tuesday in a bid to reach a unanimous agreement on the issue.

This is the second time in six months that the resolution to keep the UN mission in Afghanistan operating has become the subject of controversy over “belt and road” language.

Resolutions extending the mandate of the Afghan mission in 2016, 2017 and 2018 had language urging further efforts to strengthen regional economic cooperation involving Afghanistan, including through the “belt and road” initiative.

But in March, when the mandate renewal came up, US deputy ambassador Jonathan Cohen objected, saying Beijing was insisting on making the resolution “about Chinese national political priorities rather than the people of Afghanistan.”

Ahead of this month’s mandate expiration, Germany and Indonesia drafted a substantive resolution that would extend the mandate for a year.

It focused on UN support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled peace process, UN assistance in the Sept. 28 presidential election and strong backing for Afghan security forces. It made no reference to China’s “belt and road” initiative.

As a result, China and Russia circulated a rival draft resolution that removes all the substantive language and simply extends the mission for a year.

Diplomats said after Monday’s meeting that China and Russia would likely veto the German-Indonesian draft resolution, and the China-Russia draft would fail to get the required nine “yes” votes.

sa/mud

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