China has called for restraint in the wake of escalating tensions over the U.S. killing of a top Iranian general in Baghdad.
“We urge all parties concerned, especially the U.S., to maintain calm and restraint, to avoid tensions, and to avoid further escalations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday in Beijing.
China believes peace and stability must be maintained in the Middle East region, Geng said.
“China has always opposed the use of force in international relations and advocates that all parties should earnestly abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
“And also to comply with the basic norms of international relations and that Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected,” he added.
Similarly, the State Department is telling U.S. citizens to leave Iraq as soon as possible.
“Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, we urge U.S. citizens to depart Iraq immediately,” it says in a security alert, following a U.S. strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad.
“U.S. citizens should depart via airline while possible, and failing that, to other countries via land.”
Consular operations at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad were suspended earlier this week following attacks on the building by supporters of an Iranian-backed militia.
Also, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has condemned the deadly U.S. airstrike on a powerful Iranian general, calling it a “provocative and disproportionate” act.
“Tonight’s airstrike risks provoking further dangerous escalation of violence. America – and the world – cannot afford to have tensions escalate to the point of no return,” the senior Democrat said in a statement.
She said Congress was not consulted before President Donald Trump ordered the attack on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani and demanded that lawmakers be “immediately briefed” on the situation.
President Hassan Rowhani says Iran will “avenge” the killing of top commander Soleimani in a U.S. airstrike.
“Undoubtedly, Iran and other independent states will avenge this terrible crime by the U.S.,” Rowhani wrote in a letter posted on his official website.
“This act is another dark stain on the U.S.,” he said.
The Pentagon said Trump ordered the strike at Baghdad’s airport that killed Soleimani, who led Iran’s elite Quds Force.
Meanwhile, Egypt, on Friday denounced protesters’ attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
According to the statement, Egypt voiced its deep concerns over the assault, stressing that the attack violates international conventions.
It called for protection of diplomatic buildings, urging all parties in Iran to distance themselves from any international and regional tensions that could negatively affect the country’s security and stability.
Earlier, the U.S. embassy suspended public consular services until further notice, as a result of an attack by the Iranian-backed protesters on the diplomatic compound.
On Friday, Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, was killed in a U.S. air strike on his convoy at Baghdad airport.
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