Moscow and Beijing believe that the Iraqi war can and must be prevented. The Joint Communique of the foreign ministers of Russia and China on the Iraqi issue, adopted in the Chinese capital on Thursday, says the sides are advocating the settlement of the Iraqi crisis by political and diplomatic methods within the framework of the UN.
"Resolution 1441 unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council on 8 November 2002 and other relevant resolutions created the necessary legal basis for this," says the document.
On February 27, Russia's Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who is in Beijing on an official visit, and his Chinese counterpart, Tang Jiaxuan, exchanged opinions on the Iraqi problem and expressed concern over tensions around Iraq.
Their joint communique says that Russia and China proceed from the belief that the UNMOVIC and IAEA inspections are playing a vital part in the settlement of the Iraqi problem, have made certain progress and should be carried on. The UN Security Council should step up supervision and support for the inspections.
The sides pointed out that Iraq must fully, strictly and undeviatingly fulfil the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and may not possess weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles. Iraq must become fully aware of the importance of the inspections, says the document.
Russia and China have called on Iraq to maximally develop cooperation with UNMOVIC and the IAEA and to collaborate with the inspectors more fully, energetically and qualitatively, thus creating requisite conditions for a political settlement of the Iraqi problem.
The sides confirmed their resolve to continue rendering all-round assistance to a political settlement of the Iraqi problem and proceed from the belief that the war can and must be avoided. The international community demands that all possible measures be taken to preclude hostilities. We must respect this aspiration, says the communique.
An unidentified man wielding a knife attacked civilians in the Church of Notre Dame in the French city of Nice. Three people were killed, several others were hospitalised with injuries.One of the victims was beheaded