AFP: China fully knows what it should do as a global power in the effort to halt Iran's nuclear push, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said in an interview published Monday. RIYADH (AFP) — China fully knows what it should do as a global power in the effort to halt Iran's nuclear push, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said in an interview published Monday.
"China is perfectly aware of the scope of its responsibilities and its obligations, including in the position it holds on the international stage and as a permanent member of the (UN) Security Council," Prince Saud told Al-Riyadh newspaper.
He underscored that China is a "member of the six-party international group dealing with the Iran nuclear crisis," adding Riyadh supports the group's work, and he hoped Iran would cooperate with its efforts.
"We hope that Iran would cooperate with those efforts, and to see an end to the crisis in a way that would serve in making the region free of all weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons in particular," he said.
Saud was responding to a question about Riyadh's official denial last Friday that Saudi officials had discussed with visiting US Defence Secretary Robert Gates pressuring China to support more sanctions on Iran.
Gates told journalists two days before that it was a part of his talks with Saudi King Abdullah and other officials, but in an official statement the Saudi government said the issue was not discussed.
Washington has been seeking Saudi help in pressuring China to distance itself from Iran to support a new round of UN sanctions on Tehran.
China depends on both Saudi Arabia and Iran for a large part of its crude oil imports.
The US and European allies hope new sanctions could help stop Iran's alleged push to develop nuclear weapons, but China's lack of support has made it unlikely the proposed sanctions would be approved by the Security Council.
According to the Washington Post last week, Prince Saud made a quiet trip to Beijing in early March to discuss the issue.
Saudi officials have neither confirmed nor denied the report.