Ghalioun opposes foreign intervention in Syria: Chinese media

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The leader of the Syria's external opposition group said that he opposed foreign intervention in Syria to resolve the crisis in an official visit to China, Chinese state media said on Wednesday.

Burhan Ghalioun, head of the Syrian National Council (SNC) which has previously lobbied world powers to aid armed efforts against the Syrian regime, said he was opposed to "any outside interference," the China Daily newspaper quoted him as saying.

During a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Ghalioun "said he appreciated China's humanitarian aid to Syria,” an article in the state-funded China Daily newspaper said.

Ghalioun is visiting China to try and negotiate an end to the year-long bloodshed in Syria, with both the government and the armed rebels continuing to breach a UN-backed ceasefire that went into force last month.

The SNC has been criticized for being too reliant on the support of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, both of which have strategic interests in removing President Bashar Assad, but neither support the emergence of democracy in the Arab world.

Ghalioun was quoted as saying he was open to dialogue and had stressed that he "values China's role in working toward a political resolution to the crisis."

Yang thanked international envoy Kofi Annan, who has been seeking to mediate between the regime and the armed opposition.

Around 300 UN monitors are aiming to monitor the crisis, with the head of the mission surviving a bomb attack on Wednesday, highlighting the dangerous circumstances they face.

"Annan's mediation efforts have created an important opportunity and a practical way out of the crisis" the report quote Yang as saying, adding the he urged "related parties to maintain the cease-fire and cooperate with UN observers in the country."

NATO forces last year carried out an aggressive bombing campaign in Libya to unseat dictator Muammar Gaddafi, drawing fierce accusations from Russia and China that they had overstepped the UN mandate.

Some opposition figures had been calling for a similar response, while other groups have stressed the need to keep the uprising peaceful and Syrian-led.

(Al-Akhbar)

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