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Remarks by Ambassador Li Baodong to the Press on the Syrian Issue



(Photograph by Shen Hong/Xinhua News Agency)


The Security Council just heard the briefing by Special Envoy Kofi Annan on the situation in Syria.

China welcomes the announcement made by the Syrian government at 6 am local time on April 12 concerning the immediate ceasefire and withdrawal of troops from some cities and towns. This helps to ease the tensions in Syria. It is a major step toward political settlement of the Syrian issue, and marks important progress in Special Envoy Annan's mediation efforts.

We hope the Syrian government will honor its commitments in good faith, continue to take real actions to support and cooperate with Mr. Annan in his mediation, and safeguard the political process for the settlement of the Syrian issue.In the meantime,China calls on the armed opposition factions to achieve immediate ceasefire and implement Mr. Annan's "six-point plan".

To ease the tense situation and promote political settlement, China has been engaging, in its own way, with the Syrian government and all the parties involved.

We have maintained contacts with Special Envoy Annan and given full support to his mediation efforts.

A few days ago,Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi wrote a letter to his Syrian counterpart.The letter positively appraised the Syrian decision on ceasefire and military withdrawal,and expressed China's hope that Syria would earnestly fulfill its commitments, take practical actions to support and cooperate with Mr. Annan in his mediation efforts, and maintain the political settlement process.

Leading officials of the Chinese foreign ministry also met with Syrian Ambassador in China, emphasizing that the top priority now is for Syria to implement Mr. Annan's "six-point plan",seize the hard-won opportunity, and fulfill in a timely and comprehensive manner the commitments to military withdrawal and ceasefire.

The Chinese Embassy in Syria and the Chinese Mission to the United Nations have on many occasions engaged with Syria to persuade it to honor its military withdrawal and ceasefire commitments.

We have also maintained communication with the opposition factions in Syria, calling for immediate ceasefire and implementation of Mr. Annan's proposal.

China has also maintained contacts with regional countries, the Arab League, Russia and other parties concerned to push for political solution of the Syrian issue.

It is fair to say that the work that China has done is effective.

Going forward, China will continue to work with all parties, and vigorously support Special Envoy Annan's mediation for political settlement of the Syrian issue. We will maintain communication and coordination with all parties, and play a constructive role in bringing about an early, just, peaceful and proper settlement of the Syrian issue.

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