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Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 11:18
Chinese envoy calls for political settlement of Syria crisis
By Xinhua
Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 11:18 By Xinhua

Fighters from Faylaq al-Sham (Levant Legion) stand guard in the Syrian village of Talhiya in the eastern countryside of Idlib, on May 18, 2020. (OMAR HAJ KADOUR / AFP)

UNITED NATIONS - A Chinese envoy on Monday called on parties in Syria to engage constructively in dialogue to seek a political settlement of the crisis in the country.

China attaches great importance to the appeals by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Special Envoy Geir Pedersen for a cease-fire in Syria, and calls on all parties to enhance mutual trust, de-escalate the situation and jointly combat the COVID-19 pandemic, said Yao Shaojun, China's acting deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

China calls on all parties to enhance mutual trust, de-escalate the situation and jointly combat the COVID-19 pandemic, said Yao Shaojun, China's acting deputy permanent representative to the United Nations

There is a window of opportunity to promote inclusive dialogue and create favorable conditions for a political solution, he told a virtual meeting of the Security Council.

The Syrian parties should continue to engage constructively with each other and maintain dialogue within the framework of the Constitutional Committee, he said.

READ MORE: China envoy calls for lifting of unilateral measures against Syria

The future of Syria must be decided by the Syrians on their own, without foreign interference. It is fundamental to respect and safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, he added.

At the same time, the international community should keep vigilance at terrorists seeking to take advantage of the current situation in Syria, said Yao.

Terrorist groups are still making assaults in Idlib in the northwest as well as other provinces, posing constant threats to the security and stability of Syria and the entire region. The Security Council should pay close attention and support Pedersen's call for effective, cooperative and targeted counter-terrorism efforts, he said. "We call on relevant parties to step up dialogue and negotiations to find a long-term solution in terms of counter-terrorism at an early date."

Although the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is comparatively limited in Syria, containment and prevention measures are indispensable, given the quick transmission of the virus, he said.

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The Syrian government is taking effective measures in medical, transportation, education and many other sectors. China appreciates these efforts. China is ready to strengthen cooperation with the people and government of Syria in combating the virus, and offer assistance within its capacity, said Yao.

The international community should provide more support for Syria in the fight against the virus as the Syrian government's efforts serve the interests of the Syrian people, he said.

Unilateral sanctions should be lifted without delay as they undermine countries' capacity to mobilize resources and respond to the pandemic, he said.

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