Middle East

China calls on all sides to abide by Syria ceasefire

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei. (AP)

BEIJING: China called on Thursday for all sides in the Syrian conflict to observe U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi's proposal for a Muslim holiday ceasefire.

The ceasefire for the Muslim 'Eid' holiday is due to start on Friday and Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said he welcomed the move.

"We are happy with the positive reaction to the proposal from relevant sides in Syria," he told a daily news briefing.

"We hope that all the relevant parties in Syria can take a sincere attitude and concrete action to support and cooperate with U.N. envoy Brahimi's proposal and his mediation efforts and seize the opportunity to earnestly implement promises to cease fire and stop the violence."

China also hoped this would be a chance "to put in place a long-term and effective ceasefire to create conditions to relieve the Syrian people's hardship and start political dialogue and the political transition process as soon as possible", he said.

China and Russia have vetoed three U.N. resolutions condemning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government for the violence.

But China has been keen to show it does not take sides in Syria and has urged the government there to talk to the opposition and take steps to meet demands for political change. It has also said a transitional government should be formed.





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