, BEIJING, Mar 28 – Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday told Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, that China supports his mediation efforts.
Wen said he believes the Syria issue will be settled in a fair, peaceful and appropriate way through Annan’s mediation.
The Syria issue is now at a critical stage and draws close attention from the international community, Wen said during their meeting in the Great Hall of the People.
The Syrian crisis had brought disaster to Syrian people, and affected peace and stability of the Middle East, Wen said.
The United Nations Security Council presidential statement on Syria, which was adopted last Wednesday, had clarified the great concern and common aspiration of the international community on the Syria issue, and had taken up the six-point proposal put forward by Annan, Wen said.
He said China would support Annan’s efforts and keep close coordination with him, to work closely with the international community to create favourable conditions for the success of the mediation efforts.
“Currently the top priority should be given to safeguarding life and security of Syrian civilians,” Wen said, urging all parties concerned to put an immediate end to violence, offer support for international humanitarian aid, to lay foundation for initiating peace process for the peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis.
China will intensify its efforts on the Syrian government and other related parties, and urge them to seize the current important opportunities, positively respond to Annan’s mediation efforts and honour their commitments, Wen said.
The premier said the fundamental way to achieve long-lasting peace and stability in Syria was to comply with the Syrian people’s will for reform, guarantee their legitimate rights, develop economy and improve people’s livelihoods.
It requires joint efforts from the Syrian government and various parties, Wen said. The future and destiny of Syria should be determined by the Syrian people themselves, he added.
Annan, who came to Beijing earlier Tuesday on a two-day visit, agreed with Wen’s views and expressed appreciation of China’s support. He said he would keep close contact and coordination with the international community including China, and step up his engagement with the Syrian government and the opposition party.
He said he is committed to ending the violence in Syria quickly, initiating the political process for solving the Syria issue, safeguarding Syrian people’s fundamental interests and maintain peace and stability of the Middle East.
Also on Tuesday a spokesman for Annan said in a statement that the Syrian government had written to Annan accepting his six point plan, endorsed by the UN Security Council.
The statement said Annan had written to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad urging the Syrian government to put its commitments into immediate effect.
Annan views this “as an important initial step that could bring an end to the violence and the bloodshed, provide aid to the suffering, and create an environment conducive to a political dialogue that would fulfil the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people,” said the statement.
The statement stressed that implementation will be key, not only for the Syrian people but also for the region and the international community as a whole.
The joint special envoy expressed in the statement his appreciation for the wide backing he had received for his mediation efforts, and appealed to key countries to support the development and help ensure the effective implementation of the mediation plan.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Annan also met with Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun in Beijing on Tuesday, and they exchanged views on situation in Syria and the envoy’s mediation work.
Syrian issue cannot be solved without joint participation and talks among main related parties, for which the international community should create proper conditions, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Tuesday in Beijing.