China supported the United Nations in continuing to play an important role in Iraq, Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya said Tuesday.
The ambassador, who also served as the current rotating council president, expressed the hope that Iraq's sovereignty could be smoothly restored.
"The Iraqi situation had entered a crucial stage, with the political process facing several challenges," he told council members at an open meeting on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's latest report.
Taking note of the report's recommendations, he said he hoped that a general consensus could be forged as soon as possible on such issues as electoral arrangements and the mechanism for transferring sovereignty.
The report, prepared by Annan's Special Advisor Lakhdar Brahimi who just concluded a fact-finding mission on Iraq's electoral process, ruled out possibilities of early elections before June 30, a date set last November for power transfer.
All of the council's 15 members took part in the open meeting, with many underscoring the need to adhere to the June 30 date of power transfer and voicing support for an expanded UN role in the political arena.