Embassy role in ivory smuggling branded 'baseless'

(From left - 1st row) Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang stands on May 10, 2014 next to Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources Judi Wakhungu, Kenya's first Deputy President William Ruto, as they look a pile of charred elephant ivory, a monument in memory of a historic burning of 12 tons of elephant tusks as a statement of Kenya's government to stop the poaching that has reduced Kenya's elephant herds at the Nairobi national park.

The Chinese Embassy in Burundi has branded a media report claiming it had conducted illegal ivory trade in Africa as "unreal and baseless".

After thorough investigations it has been proved that the case has nothing to do with China or the Chinese Embassy, it said.

At a news conference held jointly by the Chinese ambassador to Burundi, Yu Xuzhong, and representatives of the Burundi government, the ambassador said smugglers transferred a batch of ivory from Bujumbura International Airport in the name of the Chinese Embassy in Burundi in early October.

The ivory was seized by police at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the smugglers arrested.

Yu said that as a result of investigations by all parties, it has been proved that the Chinese Embassy in Burundi and China had nothing to do with the incident.

Yu said the Chinese government attaches great importance to the protection of wildlife and that it will commit to taking part in international cooperation to protect wildlife and stop ivory smuggling.

Representatives of the Burundi government said it strongly condemned conduct that would affect the friendship between two countries.

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