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Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi after Voting on the Security Council Draft Resolution on Syria

2017/04/12

China is deeply concerned by the use of chemical weapons in Syria and firmly opposes the use of chemical weapons by any country, group or individual. China is aware that the Syrian Government has written to the Director General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) requesting that the organization send an investigative mission to Khan Shaykhun and the Shayrat airbase to carry out an investigation. China supports the OPCW and the United Nations conducting a comprehensive, objective and just investigation into the relevant cases so as to arrive at a conclusion on the basis of solid evidence that can stand the test of history and be substantiated by facts, thereby bringing the perpetrators of the attack and other responsible parties to justice.

Preserving unity within the Security Council is of critical importance to any solution within the context of the Syrian question. It has been our long-standing hope that the Security Council would speak as one voice on the chemical weapons issue in Syria. We had been working tirelessly for a draft resolution that would have enjoyed the support of all Council members. China highly commends the elected members of the Council for their hard work in trying to reach consensus among Council members. We deeply regret the failure to reach such a consensus on the draft resolution. The attempt to push through a draft resolution in which serious division still remained among Council members was destined to undermine Council unity and impair efforts to seeking a political solution. The draft resolution on which we voted contains language that condemns the use of chemical weapons that took place within Syria and calls for an investigation into the relevant instances, which is language that China supports. Nevertheless, some other elements of the text may well have been amended to secure consensus. As such, China abstained in the voting on the draft resolution.

The protracted conflict in Syria has caused massive civilian casualties. A political solution continues to be the only way forward to rid the Syrian people of their suffering. Military means simply do not work but only exacerbate the suffering of the Syrian people. China calls on the relevant parties to stay the course towards a political settlement and uphold the Syrian-owned and Syrian-led principle, support the role of the United Nations as the main channel of mediation, and get behind the efforts undertaken by Special Envoy De Mistura. We must step up all four parallel tracks, namely preserving the ceasefire, seeking a political solution, coordinating counter-terrorism activities and providing humanitarian assistance so as to facilitate the search by all parties for a solution that is acceptable to all through the Geneva talks.

China hopes that the international community will work in concert to play a constructive role in securing a comprehensive, just and appropriate solution to the Syrian issue without delay.

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