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Five principles for Syria peace

2014-01-21 09:00 China Daily/Xinhua Web Editor: Wang Fan

The people should decide country's political future and the international community should support national reconciliation

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday put forward five principles for a political settlement of the Syrian issue during a press briefing with Chinese media.

First, the issue of Syria must be resolved through political means.

China welcomes and supports the convocation of Geneva II on Jan 22, 2014. This will be an important opportunity to promote the political settlement of the Syrian issue. China calls on all parties in Syria to actively participate in Geneva II.

Military action is no answer to the issue of Syria. All parties should voice their demands through dialogue and negotiation rather than seeking gains through armed conflict. We call on all parties in Syria to seize the opportunity presented by Geneva II, commit themselves to the full, balanced and effective implementation of the Geneva Communique, and support and work closely with the UN Secretary-General and the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria in their mediation efforts.

The meeting in Geneva, marking the beginning of dialogue and negotiation, should be an ongoing process. Thus, a clearly defined follow-up mechanism is needed to keep the dialogue, negotiation and other political efforts going. It is essential that negotiation is not just launched, but more importantly pushed forward until practical results are achieved. The meeting in Geneva should be an open platform and the door of peace talks should be open to all parties in Syria committed to a political settlement so that they will take an active part in the process and play their role.

While dialogue and negotiation are going on, all parties in Syria must put an end to all armed conflict and violence, taking credible and visible actions such as humanitarian pause, ceasefire region by region or phase by phase, and disengagement as first steps to build and enhance mutual trust. The international community should provide assistance within the UN framework to support and monitor the ceasefire.

Second, the future of Syria must be decided by its own people.

To resolve the issue of Syria, efforts must be made at the domestic, regional and international levels. The political transition process in Syria must be Syrian-led, and the future of Syria, ultimately, can only be decided by the Syrian people themselves.

The international community must uphold the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations, be committed to maintaining Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity and respect the will and choice of the Syrian people. The international community needs to take a just, balanced and impartial approach in dealing with all parties in Syria, create favorable conditions and a necessary environment for the formulation of a political transition plan and avoid external imposition of political solutions on Syria. It is necessary to uphold and give play to the role of the United Nations as the main channel of mediation.

China values and supports the positive role played by regional countries in seeking a political settlement of the Syrian issue.

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