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China not to attend friends of Syria conference

2012-02-24 09:26 Xinhua     Web Editor: Xu Aqing comment

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Thursday that China will not attend the Friends of Syria conference to be held Friday in Tunisia.

Hong said China is not prepared to attend the conference as China needs to further study the aim, effect and mechanism of the conference and it has no idea of the preparations of the conference.

China is a friend of the Syrian and Arab peoples, Hong said.

"China supports all efforts that are conducive to peacefully and properly resolving the Syrian issue," Hong said, adding that China hopes to work with all concerned parties to play a positive and constructive role in the process.

China believes that any action taken by the international community should help to cease tensions, boost political dialogues, resolve differences and maintain peace and stability in the Middle East, Hong said.

Russia and China on Feb. 4 vetoed an Arab-European draft resolution on Syria backing an Arab League plan which demands a regime change in the Middle East country. And later on Feb. 16, China voted against a draft resolution on Syria at the UN General Assembly.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun, as a special envoy of the Chinese government, on Feb. 18 met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damasucs.

During his two-day visit to Syria, Zhai also met with Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Mualem, Vice Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad, assistant Foreign Minister Ahmad Arnous and heads of Syria's opposition groups.

Zhai said that China has followed closely the development of the situation in Syria, and is deeply worried about the escalating crisis in the country, which has caused civilian casualties and affected peace and stability in the Middle East region.

He said China urges all parties concerned in Syria to immediately launch inclusive political dialogue with no preconditions attached, and jointly discuss a comprehensive political reform plan and mechanism.

China supports efforts by the Arab League (AL) in seeking a political solution to the issue of Syria, Zhai said. He called on parties concerned to strengthen communication and consultation, and join efforts in seeking a peaceful and proper solution to the Syrian crisis within the AL framework and on the basis of AL's political initiatives.

Zhai stressed that China takes an objective, just and responsible stance on the issue of Syria.

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