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France pursuing Azhar global terrorist status with EU: Govt

New Delhi: With China putting on hold the efforts in United Nations Security Council (UNSC), spearheaded by France with UK and US, to declare terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad’s chief Masood Azhar a global terrorist, France has again taken the initiative on the issue and has approached to European Union for the purpose.
The Ministry of External Affairs has said the political and economic union of 28-member states is expected to take a decision on the issue based on the principle of consensus.
“France has taken up the matter with the EU. We understand that the EU will take its decision once their process of designating a terrorist is complete,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters on Friday.
“It has to be a unanimous decision,” he said. The EU functions under the principle of consensus.
The move by France, a member of the EU, came days China put a hold on a fresh move to designate Azhar a global terrorist by the Sanctions Committee of the United Nations Security Council.
Fourteen out of the 15 members of the UN Security Council supported the proposal, but China was the only country which did not go with the move.
The proposal to designate Azhar under the 1267 al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UNSC was moved by France, the UK and the US, in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. JeM had claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack.
“Once the process by the EU is complete, they will make an announcement,” Kumar said.
Azhar’s listing by the bloc will result in his travel ban as well as freezing of his assets in all 28 countries of the EU.
On March 15, France imposed financial sanctions on Azhar and said it will work with its European partners to put the JeM chief’s name on the EU list of persons and entities involved in terrorist acts.
The United Nations has deemed the JeM to be a terrorist organisation since 2001. However, defying global opposition to terrorism, China has repeatedly vetoed sanctions against Azhar. (IAns)

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