Chinese envoy urges unity of Syria, political solution to crisis

Zhang Tao

TEHRAN, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Special Envoy for Syria Xie Xiaoyan on Saturday urged all parties to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis and avoid a division of the country.

After meeting with Syrian and Iranian officials recently in his mediation effort, Xie told Xinhua that the two countries had emphasized that Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be preserved while settling the six-year-long crisis.

"China agrees with them on this point," he said.

During his visit to Iran on July 20-23, the envoy held meetings with Iranian officials and experts, and exchanged views with them on how to solve the Syrian crisis.

"Iran is an important country in the Middle East which has a significant and unique influence on the Syrian issue," he said.

Xie said China has never changed its stance that the Syrian crisis must be solved politically, and meanwhile, other issues, including political negotiations, ceasefire, humanitarian crisis and counter-terrorism, should be taken into full account.

The establishment of de-escalation zones was an important achievement of the recent Astana talks, the fifth round of peace talks on the Syrian crisis, held on July 12-15 in the Kazakhstan capital, he said.

It showed that the international community started to take actions to ease tensions, and promote new thinking and ideas for the political settlement of the crisis, Xie said.

China has provided humanitarian aid worth 680 million yuan (about 100.5 million U.S. dollars) for the Syrian people through various channels, he said.

Xie stressed that all parties shall respect the principle of self-determination in the political process of the Syrian issue, namely, to let the Syrian people decide their own future.

The Syrian crisis began in 2011 with demonstrations against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and escalated into armed conflicts with the involvement of regional and Western powers.

A number of peace initiatives have been launched, but little headway has been made until now. A new round of peace talks will be convened in early September in Geneva.


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