China urges Syria to halt violence, accept mediation

August 16, 2012 12:04 pm


Yousef Hayeni stands in front of the remains of his house following an air strike in the Syrian town of Aazaz/AFP
BEIJING, China, Aug 16 – China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi urged a visiting Syrian envoy on Thursday to implement a ceasefire and accept international mediation to end the violence wracking the country.

“China urges the Syrian government and all concerned parties… to quickly implement a ceasefire to end the violence and start political dialogue,” Yang told Bouthaina Shaaban, according to a government statement.

Yang added that China “hopes the Syrian government and the opposition can cooperate with international mediation efforts”, according to the statement by China’s foreign ministry posted on its website.

China has previously called for political dialogue and efforts by the United Nations (UN) to resolve the crisis in Syria.

But China has joined Russia to repeatedly use their vetoes to scuttle UN Security Council resolutions aimed at tackling the deadly conflict, putting them at odds with fellow permanent members like the United States.

Shaaban, who arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, said President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was willing to cooperate with international mediation efforts and raised the possibility of dialogue with the opposition.

“The Syrian government will cooperate with international mediation efforts to seek a way to end violence and with the opposition launch inclusive dialogue with broad participation of all parties,” she was quoted as saying.

In an interview with the state-run China Daily newspaper published Thursday, Shaaban slammed Western nations for supplying arms and money to “people who are inciting the civil war in Syria”.

She dismissed the opposition as armed groups, kidnappers and tools of foreign powers that refused to engage in dialogue with the government.


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