China blocking U.N. listing of Masood Azhar as global terrorist will be against shared goals for stability, says U.S.

A file photo of the JeM chief Masood Azhar in Islamabad.   | Photo Credit: AP

The U.S. has said Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) is a threat to regional stability and peace and that China preventing the UN designation of JeM leader Masood Azhar would run counter to the U.S. and China’s shared goals for stability.

“The JeM is a UN-designated terrorist group. Azhar is the founder and the leader of the JeM, and he meets the criteria for designation by the UN. The JeM has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a threat to regional stability and peace,” State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino said at a briefing in response to a question from The Hindu.

A listing request, to designate Azhar as a terrorist, resulting in sanctions that include a travel and arms embargo as well as an asset freeze, is being considered at the UN Security Council. If no objections are raised by 3 p.m. on Wednesday (local time), the designation goes through. Remarks to the press by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Monday had cast some doubt on whether China would let the process conclude or place a “technical hold” on it — as it has done several times in the past.

The U.S. said on Tuesday that if China blocked the listing, it would run counter to the countries’ goals.

“I would say that the U.S. and China share a mutual interest in achieving regional stability and peace, and that a failure to designate Azhar would run counter to this goal,” Mr. Palladino said.

Mr. Palladino’s comments come during Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale’s visit to Washington.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said China wanted a closure of the Azhar issue based on consensus, achieved through dialogue.

“I want to say that China always adopts a responsible attitude, engage in consultations with various parties and properly deal with this issue,” Mr. Lu said. “The discussions, I want to say, must follow the rules and procedures of the relevant bodies and only the solution that is acceptable to all sides is conducive for resolving the issue.”

(With inputs from Atul Aneja in Beijing)

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Printable version | May 10, 2021 10:16:33 PM |

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