GCC chief meets Chinese envoy on Syria

AFP , Sunday 11 Mar 2012

GCC secretary general holds talks with China's Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Ming to discuss the regional development, amid tension between Beijing and Gulf countries over the bloodshed in Syria

China's envoy on Syria met with Gulf Cooperation Council head Abdullatif al-Zayani in the Saudi capital on Sunday, the six-nation organisation said.

The GCC secretary general and China's Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Ming "discussed regional developments and exchanged views" on the bloodshed in Syria, it said in a statement.

China announced Friday that it was sending an envoy to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and France to explain its position on Syria.

Beijing unveiled a six-point peace plan on February 4, calling for an immediate end to the bloody violence and for dialogue between President Bashar al-Assad's regime and the opposition.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly criticised vetoes by China and Russia at the UN Security Council that blocked attempts to adopt a resolution on Syria.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal on Saturday told his Arab and Russian counterparts at a meeting in Cairo that the vetoes had allowed the Syrian regime's "brutality" to continue.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin on Friday expressed hope that the envoy's tour would help "build up consensus and push for a fair, peaceful and proper solution of the Syria issue."

Saudi Arabia and its GCC partners have expelled Syria's envoys and withdrawn their own from Damascus over the "mass slaughter" of civilians.

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