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China's Xi repeats call for political resolution for Syria

Reuters , Thursday 5 Jun 2014
Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping , center, leaves after the opening ceremony of the 6th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, June 5, 2014 (Photo: AP)
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Views: 860

Chinese President Xi Jinping repeated on Thursday a call for a political resolution to the Syrian crisis and his country's support for an inclusive political transition on Thursday, and offered to boost aid for Syrian refugees.

China and its ally, Russia, have both vetoed Western efforts to set UN penalties on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, though China has been keen to show it is not taking sides and has urged the Syrian government to talk to the opposition.

China has also said a transitional government should be formed.

"China respects the reasonable demands of the Syrian people, and supports the early adoption of the Geneva communique and the opening of an inclusive political process to bring about a political resolution to the Syrian issue," Xi told a China-Arab forum in Beijing, in a speech broadcast live on state television.

The first round of Syria peace talks in Geneva in 2012 stipulated the establishment of a transition government, though subsequent peace talks have floundered.

Assad won a landslide victory in a wartime election on Tuesday that opponents condemned as a sham, but which demonstrated his tenacious hold on power after three years of brutal civil war.

Assad's foes have ridiculed the election, saying the two relatively unknown and state-approved challengers offered no real alternative to Assad.

The United States and European Union also condemned the election.

Xi made no mention of the vote.

China has played host to both opposition and government delegations, though to little apparent effect.

China is paying great attention to the humanitarian situation of the Syrian people, and would give further aid to refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, Xi added, but gave no details.

China, not a major diplomatic player in the Middle East despite its reliance on oil imports from the region, has consistently urged a political resolution for Syria and opposed the use of military force.

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