Jiang deplores expansion of anti-terror war

  • From: "Muslim-News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
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  • Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2002 10:27:38 +0100

TEHRAN: Chinese President Jiang Zemin concluded a five-nation tour in
Iran on Sunday, voicing loud opposition to an expansion of Washington's
"war on terror" and policies in the Middle East. Jiang denounced here
Washington's robust entry into Central Asia since deposing Afghanistan's
fundamentalist Taliban regime and warned once again against US designs
on widening the field of battle to other countries. 

"Beijing's policy is against strategies of force and the US military
presence in Central Asia and the Middle East region," Jiang said after
talks here late Saturday with former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi

Turning to the Middle East, he accused Israel of "not having implemented
UN resolutions" calling for its withdrawal from Palestinian territories
and criticised "US support for Israel's policies," Tehran Radio

Jiang's two week-tour also brought him to Nigeria, Tunisia, Germany and
Libya, which, like Iran, the White House has long charged with
sponsoring terrorism and seeking weapons of mass destruction. "One of
the primary issues for China is to protect developing countries from the
pretensions of the United States," Jiang said, while calling for "a
lasting peace in Afghanistan which has been torn by war." 

Jiang met on Sunday with Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei,
who said Iran wanted to strengthen its ties with both China and India in
the name of "regional and global security." Jiang, who arrived on
Thursday on the second visit by a Chinese head of state to Iran since
its 1979 Islamic revolution, hoped the mission would "open a new chapter
in bilateral relations to the benefit of regional and international
peace and stability." 

On Saturday, Jiang met with Iran's President Mohammed Khatami and with
parliament speaker, Mehdi Karubi. Those talks also centered on the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the US-led "war on terror." China "does
not share the same point of view on terror as the United States," Jiang
said in his talks with Karubi, cited by the official INA news agency. 

He called for "proof" before launching any attacks in the name of the
"war on terror" and said the problem of terror should be solved "at the
roots." In a nod to the threats from Washington, Khatami said: "Iran
wants a world without weapons of mass destruction, and while respecting
agreements on production and proliferation bans, we reserve ourselves
the right to have defence means at our disposal." 

On the Middle East situation, Khatami urged China to use its seat on the
UN Security Council to "play a greater role in putting an end to the
crimes of the Zionist regime against the Palestinian people," the
statement said. 

Khatami and Jiang also attended the signing of six bilateral agreements,
none of which were linked to defence cooperation. The deals sealed
cooperation between Iran and China in the fields of hydrocarbons, trade,
transport, information technology, cultural exchanges and education.
"Thanks to these agreements, bilateral trade should increase
substantially," said a member of the Iranian delegation, noting that it
already stood at $3.5 billion a year. 

Jiang also hailed Tehran's efforts to restore peace in war-torn
Afghanistan, which has borders with both countries. Before the start of
the tour, Chinese analysts described Jiang's trip as a direct message to
Washington. "This visit is to show that America cannot just define as it
wishes rogue states," Zhu Feng, director of Beijing University's
International Security Program, told AFP. 

Source:  AFP

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