China today said the issue of blacklisting Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar at the UN panel was heading towards a settlement and asked the US not to force through its own resolution on the matter.
Beijing also rejected the report that the US, the UK and France asked China to lift the technical hold on Azhar by April 23, failing which they will move a formal resolution for discussion, vote and passage at the UN Security Council (UNSC).
"On the issue of the listing of Masood Azhar, China's position remains unchanged. We are also having communication with relevant parties and the matter is moving towards the direction of settlement," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said.
Asked to elaborate further, Lu did not answer clearly.
"The matter is now moving in the direction of settlement. As to the specifics for the discussion in the 1267 committee, there are clear procedures and regulations regarding UNSC and its subsidiary bodies. We think members should follow and abide by such procedures."
He was responding to a question whether anything was achieved after China claimed "positive progress" on the issue of declaring Azhar a terrorist.
China in the past has put four technical holds on the resolutions by India, the US, the UK and France to ban Azhar at the UN 1267 sanctions committee.
Beijing's latest technical hold came last month after Azhar's outfit claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in Jammu and Kashmir that killed 40 military personnel in February.
This prompted the US to draft a new resolution and take it directly to the Security Council for an informal discussion. Beijing slammed the move, saying this will complicate matters when some progress has already been achieved.
Lu again reiterated it when asked if China will support such a resolution in the Security Council.
"Regarding what you said relevant parties are forcing a new resolution through the Security Council. We firmly oppose that. In relevant discussions, most members expressed that this issue should be discussed within the 1267 committee and they don't hope to bypass the 1267 committee to handle the issue.
"We hope the relevant country can respect the opinions of most members of the Security Council to act in a cooperative manner and to help resolve this issue properly within the framework of the 1267 committee," he added.
Asked if Beijing has been set a deadline of April 23 to lift the technical hold on resolution banning Azhar at the 1267 committee, Lu said: "I don't know from where you get such information, but the Security Council and it's subsidiary bodies like the 1267 committee, they have clear rules of procedures and you have to seek clarification from those sources."
"China's position is very clear. This issue should be resolved through cooperation and we don't believe that any efforts without the consensus of most members will achieve satisfying results."