Aziz Could Visit China End-November
Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz is set to visit China at the end of November as part of Baghdad's mounting diplomatic campaign to lift a decade of crippling sanctions, a diplomatic source said Wednesday.
Aziz will hold talks in Beijing with senior Chinese officials on the "need to lift the embargo as well as bilateral cooperation", the source said.
"The current international context encourages Iraq to intensify its action to garner more support and get the Iraqi issue moving after a stalemate of more than one year," he said.
Aziz, who was last in Beijing in January, could visit Moscow after China to follow up on talks held in Baghdad with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, he said.
Iraq announced at the Islamic summit that ended Monday an agreement with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the sidelines of the summit for a "comprehensive dialogue" with the United Nations after an almost yearlong impasse.
The UN secretary general, however, added a note of caution to the Iraqi announcement of renewed contacts.
"We didn't agree to any mechanism as such. I have to review what we have discussed and we'll determine how we are going to proceed," he said after talks with President Saddam Hussein's No. 2 Ezzat Ibrahim.
China has adopted a position within the UN Security Council favorable to Iraq, urging that sanctions imposed on Baghdad during its 1990 invasion of Kuwait be lifted -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
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