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Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Briefing on Syria


China is profoundly shocked by the alleged use of chemicals as weapons in Syria that resulted in enormous civilian casualties several days ago. We strongly condemn any attacks against civilians. China firmly opposes the use of chemical weapons by any country, organization or person under any circumstances, and that has been its unwavering and consistent position. In Syria, there have been many instances of the use of chemicals as weapons. China supports the related entities of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations in carrying out comprehensive, objective and fair investigations into all uses of chemicals as weapons in Syria. The findings of such investigations must be based on substantial evidence and stand the test of time and facts. It is essential to hold accountable all relevant perpetrators and responsible parties in cases involving chemical weapons.

The Syrian conflict has entered its seventh year and, to date, resulted in enormous civilian casualties. China empathetically shares in the suffering of the Syrian people, and we call on the various Syrian parties to quickly end the conflict. A political settlement is the only way out the Syrian issue. China hopes that all the parties will create the conditions for a political settlement rather than create difficulties. It is China’s hope that the international community will capitalize on the rare opportunities offered by a political settlement, persist in the general direction of a political settlement, step up its support for the United Nations as the main channel for mediation, support the work of Special Envoy of the Secretary-General De Mistura, urge the various Syrian parties to consolidate a ceasefire and build up mutual trust, adhere to the principle of a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned settlement as advanced in the Geneva talks, and push for positive results to be achieved within the political process of the Syrian issue. Counter-terrorism currently is the primary area of concern in connection with the Syrian issue. The international community should strengthen its coordination, unify its standard and resolutely fight against all the terrorist organizations listed by the Council.

Lastly, I should like to point out once again that it is totally unacceptable for the British representative to publicly distort the solemn position of another country in the Council Chamber. His logic is untenable. We hope that, on the issue of chemical weapons, on which the international community is in consensus, he will stop using the Security Council in an abusive manner for his own political purposes, as that is not in the interest of the Syrian people, and that, in the future, the British representative will refrain from such practices.

(Photo by Li Muzi, Xinhua News Agency)

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