Thursday, April 1, 2010

FP morning post 4/1

U.S. and Iran woo China over sanctions vote

Top news: U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice heralded a major diplomatic breakthrough yesterday, saying that China had agreed to "sit down and begin serious negotiations" on new sanctions against Iran.

Chinese negotiators had reportedly agreed to participate in new talks in a conference call last week. With veto power on the U.N. Security Council, China's opposition is a major impediment to the new sanctions that U.S. President Barack Obama wants put in place within weeks.

Beijing downplayed the U.S. report on Thursday, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang refusing to confirm that China was considering new sanctions, saying only that his government was "concerned about the situation" and would "engage all parties to promote a proper resolution by diplomatic means."

Meanwhile, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili arrived in Beijing for bilateral talks on the nuclear issue. "The relationship between Iran and China is very important, and it is very important for our two countries to cooperate on all the issues," he said.

Breaking: Reports indicate a military coup is underway in Guinea Bissau.

Afghanistan's parliament rejected President Hamid Karzai's bid to take control of the country's independent election panel. Europe
  • Russian President Dmitry Medvedev paid a surprise visit to the North Caucasus in the wake of this week's terrorist bombings. Chechen separatist Doku Umarov has claimed credit for the attacks.
  • Swiss bishops have apologized for their handling of priest sex abuse cases.
  • Eurozone unemployment has hit 10 percent for the first time since the Euro was introduced.
Middle East
  • A bombing at a prison in Southern Yemen allowed 40 prisoners to escape.
  • Followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr are organizing a special, unofficial election to choose Iraq's prime minister.
  • Israel's military says it will not file charges in the death of a Palestinian protester last year.
-By Joshua Keating

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

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