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Dialogue 'the only correct path' on Zimbabwe issue
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China said Saturday political dialogue and negotiation are "the only correct path" to solve the Zimbabwe crisis when explaining its veto against a proposed sanction on the Zimbabwean government.

Parties concerned should seek compromise and cooperation via dialogue and negotiation, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said. "This is the only correct path to solve the issue."

China and Russia vetoed a U.S.-drafted resolution in the UN Security Council on Saturday (Beijing Time) that would impose sanctions on Zimbabwe over the country's presidential run-off election in late June.

South Africa, Libya and Vietnam also voted against the draft while Indonesia abstained.

The African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are mediating Zimbabwe's political crisis. The international society should provide constructive assistance, avoiding any action that might cast shadow on the political dialogue, Liu said.

"This is the common request of the AU countries, which the Security Council should pay attention to and respect, "he said.

Under the current scenario, a sanction resolution would not only endanger the negotiation process between the Zimbabwean government and the opposition, but also further complicate the situation in Zimbabwe, the spokesman said.

Many members of the UN Security Council, including China, expressed such concerns and called for further consultations so to leave enough time for the AU mediating efforts.

"We regret that those reasonable requests were not valued and responded to by the presenting country, therefore, China vetoed the resolution, " Liu said.

Liu also called on different parties in Zimbabwe to take the national security and interest of the people as priority, fully cooperate with the mediation of AU and SADC, so as to seek a solution in line with public opinion and political reality.

The failed draft resolution calls for a travel ban and an assets freeze on President Robert Mugabe and his top officials, as well as an arms embargo.

(Xinhua News Agency July 12, 2008)

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