Syrian opposition to visit China next week

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Friday, September 14, 2012

A Syrian opposition chief will visit China from Sunday to hold talks on an end to the violence in the war-torn nation and a Syrian-led political transition, Beijing said.

Hassan Abdel Azim, general coordinator for the Syrian National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCB), will visit from September 16 to 20 and will meet foreign ministry officials, ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Friday.

"In order to push for the political resolution of the Syrian issue, China has been actively working with all parties in Syria in a balanced manner, urging them to implement (Kofi) Annan's six-point proposal (and) relevant UN Security Council resolutions," Hong told reporters.

China is "also urging an immediate ceasefire, an end to violence and the launch of a Syrian-led political transitional process as soon as possible", he said.

Last month in Beijing, China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi delivered the same message to Bouthaina Shaaban, the envoy of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Although repeatedly urging an end to violence, China has joined Russia to repeatedly use their vetoes to scuttle Western-backed UN Security Council resolutions they fear would open the door for Western military intervention.

Syria's other opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), last week agreed to expand to include more groups opposing Assad, but declined the offer to the NCB, which favorites a non-violent overthrow of the regime and opposes foreign military intervention.

The SNC has faced frequent criticism for failing to fully represent Syria's opposition.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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