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Ambassador Li Baodong Holds Press Conference in His Capacity as President of the Security Council in March


(Photograph: Shen Hong/Xinhua News Agency)

On March 2, Ambassador Li Baodong, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations and rotating President of the UN Security Council in March held a press conference at the UN Headquarters. He briefed on the work plan of the Security Council in March, and answered questions from the audience. About 100 journalists from international media outlets such as AFP, Reuters, AP, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera and Bloomberg, and Chinese media such as the Xinhua New Agency, People's Daily and CCTV attended the press conference.

Ambassador Li said that, the work program of the Security Council in March includes review of issues in Cote d'Ivoire, Somalia, Cyprus, Liberia, Afghanistan, Middle East, Sierra Leon and Lebanon, as well as briefings by Chairmen of the Security Council Iran Sanctions Committee and Somalia/Eritrea Sanctions Committee.  On March 10, the Security Council will convene, at China's initiative, an open debate on Comprehensive Strategy for Realization of Peace and Security in Somalia. As President of the Security Council in March, China will follow the principles of justice, neutrality, high efficiency and pragmatism to ensure that the work of the Council goes smoothly and international peace and security is maintained effectively.

(Photograph: Shen Hong/Xinhua News Agency)

Ambassador Li also answered questions from the journalists on major international and regional hot-spot issues.

On the next actions to be taken by the UN in Libya and the imposition of a "no fly zone", Ambassador Li said that, the situation in Libya is still unfolding, and the Security Council will continue to follow the situation there. As to whether any action should be taken by the Council, it should be handled prudently in light of the developments of the situation.  China's position on Libya is clear. We believe three principles should be followed. First, respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Libya. Second, push for settlement of the current crisis through dialogue and other peaceful means. In this process, the safety and interests of the Libyan people and foreign nationals must be protected. Third, the Security Council and the international community should heed and respect the concerns and positions of the Arab and African countries. On "no fly zone", the issue is still under discussion. No party has officially raised any proposal to the Security Council.

(Photograph: Shen Hong/Xinhua News Agency)

On the DPRK nuclear issue, Ambassador Li said that, China's position on this issue is clear-cut. First, firmly maintain peace and stability  on the Korean Peninsula. Second, safeguard the international non-proliferation regime and be committed to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Third, resolve the relevant issues through dialogue and consultation. The Six-party Talks is an important mechanism for settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. Experience over the past few years shows that all the progress in the issue has been achieved under the framework of the Six-party Talks. And whenever the Six-party Talks was in a stalemate, the situation on the Korean Peninsula was usually turbulent.

Ambassador Li said that the important basis for resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is the Joint Statement signed on September 19, 2005. So long as this Joint Statement is fully implemented, all the relevant issues on the Peninsula, including the nuclear issue, will be resolved. The top priority now is to relaunch the Six-party Talks to discuss and resolve uranium enrichment and other relevant issues concerning the Peninsula. China has done a great deal of work in this regard and will continue to make its efforts. We hope all parties will work toward the same goal and do more things that will help ease the tensions, increase mutual trust and promote dialogue and negotiations, rather than the other way around.

(Photograph: Shen Hong/Xinhua News Agency)

On Somalia, Ambassador Li said that the current situation in Somalia is troublesome. The term of TFG will end in August, but some core transitional tasks are yet to be completed, including political reconciliation and Constitution making. The international community should focus on the post-transitional situation and make planning at an early date. The Somali issue involves various aspects, including the political field, security, combating of piracy, humanitarian assistance and economic development. To resolve the Somali issue, a "piecemeal" approach will not work. There must be a comprehensive strategy. The open debate on Somalia initiated by China is precisely aimed to push for the international community to work out a comprehensive strategy on the issue as early as possible.

 On the Middle East peace process, Ambassador Li pointed out that the Middle East issue has been on the Security Council agenda since the United Nations was founded. The relevant UN resolutions are also important basis for settlement of the issue. China always maintains and supports that the Security Council plays its due role in the Middle East peace process. We regret that a draft resolution proposed by Arab countries on the settlement issue was not adopted by the Security Council not long ago .

(Photograph: Shen Hong/Xinhua News Agency)

Ambassador Li said that China has been a staunch supporter of the just cause of the Palestinian people for their lawful national rights. We also strongly oppose continued construction of settlements by Israel, and support the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people. The priority now is to restore the Palestinian-Israeli talks at an early date. To achieve this goal, Israel must immediately cease its settlements construction.

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