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ICC move against Sudan worrying
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China on Tuesday expressed "serious concern" and "worry" over the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor's call to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao called on parties concerned to take a prudent attitude, and properly settle divergences through consultation.

Earlier on Monday, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo formally requested an arrest warrant against al-Bashir for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

It was the first time the Hague-based ICC was asked to charge a sitting head of state.

"ICC's relevant move should help the stability of Sudan and the proper settlement of the Darfur issue, instead of the other way round," Liu said.

Considering the Darfur situation was at a sensitive and pivotal stage, Liu urged parties concerned to avoid adding new complicated elements to settling the issue and damaging the cooperative atmosphere among parties concerned.

China had carried out consultations with relevant sides within the United Nations Security Council, and hoped parties concerned could reach consensus on the Sudan matter, Liu added.

In response to a BBC report about China's arms sales to Sudan, Liu reiterated the government had all along taken a responsible attitude towards arms export.

China always strictly abided by the relevant resolutions made by the UN Security Council and never exported weapons to any country or region under the UN arms embargo, he added.

Criticizing the BBC report as "unfair" and "incorrect," Liu said China had never violated any UN Security Council resolution, and had been actively engaged in the international efforts in settling the Darfur crisis.

(Xinhua News Agency July 16, 2008)

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