UN should play leading role in Iraq: China
China said the UN should play the leading role in Iraq's post-war reconstruction and hoped it would draw up plans soon.india Updated: Apr 10, 2003 14:59 IST
China said on Thursday the United Nations should play the leading role in Iraq's post-war reconstruction and hoped it would draw up plans soon.
"The UN should play the leading role in the post-war reconstruction in Iraq," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a news conference a day after Baghdad fell to US forces.
"We hope the United Nations can draft a detailed post-war reconstruction plan for Iraq as soon as possible and make full preparations," he said.
China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, opposed the war on Iraq and called for an end to the fighting soon after it began three weeks ago, but has avoided taking a front-line role in the opposition camp.
Liu did not define what he meant by a leading role, but Yan Xuetong, head of the institute for international affairs at Beijing's Tsinghua University, said it meant establishing a government and deciding how the country's oil money was spent.
"The leading role means setting up an interim government and organising general elections for a new Iraqi government. This means the candidates for the new government must not be nominated by the coalition but by the UN," Yan said.
"Secondly, there's the economy. The UN should be in charge of deciding how to use oil resources and other resources that belong to the Iraqi people," he added.
Plans for the rebuilding of Iraq are threatening to reopen divisions - glaringly evident in the build-up to war - between the United States and Britain on one side and France, Germany and Russia on the other.
The United States and Britain have endorsed a "vital role" for the UN once the fighting has stopped, but have yet to spell out what that means.
Spokesman Liu said "the political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity" of Iraq and the will of its people should be respected.
"We sincerely hope that hostile military activities will end as soon as possible so that the Iraqi people can live peaceful and stable lives at an early date," Liu said.
Relations between the Foreign Ministry and Iraqi diplomats in Beijing had not changed, Liu said.
A spokesman at the Iraqi embassy said the mission's operations were "quite normal".
First Published: Apr 10, 2003 14:59 IST