Chinese FM slams US for Iraq attack

CAIRO: Jan 4 (South News) -Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan charged Monday that the United States has undermined the UN Security Council, of which both countries are permanent members.

"China can't agree to anyone using the UN Security Council when he needs it and ignoring it when he doesn't want it, as if it were a pair of shoes. That's very dangerous," Tang said after meeting Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Mussa here.

Tang, speaking at a press conference in Cairo after talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa, called it a ''dangerous tendency'' that the Security Council was unable to reach an agreement on concrete measures to be taken while the attacks were continuing.

The Security Council met three times during the attacks, but failed to reach any agreement, with four of the five permanent council members deeply split over the action to be taken. Russia and China condemned the air strikes while the United States and Britain justified them.

The Chinese foreign minister said he believes U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan should play a greater role in resolving issues concerning Iraq. He also said China supports the reorganization of the U.N. Special Commission, which is in charge of inspecting weapon sites in Iraq.

The US air strikes on Iraq in mid-December were outside of the Security Council's mandate, he said. China and Russia opposed the four nights of missile attacks the United States and Britain carried out against Iraq. All four countries are permanent Security Council member