China stresses political solution to Syria crisis
Related: China's 5 principles in addressing Syrian issue
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday reiterated China's stance for a political settlement of the Syrian issue, calling for continued political efforts to keep the negotiations going.
Wang made the remarks while discussing with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov Tuesday night about the peace talks on Syria, known as the Geneva II conference.
The peace conference was initiated by Washington and Moscow in May and will start Wednesday in the Swiss city of Montreux to seek the establishment of a transitional governing body in Syria to lead the country out of a protracted conflict that broke out in March 2011.
China hoped that the negotiations were not just launched, but, more importantly, pushed forward, Wang said, adding that his country put forward on Monday five principles for a political settlement of the Syrian issue.
Both delegations of the Syrian government and opposition arrived in Geneva, Switzerland Tuesday evening for the conference so as to embark on a dialogue for the first time since the eruption of their conflict.
Wang said the most pressing task now was to realize a cease-fire and stop violence as soon as possible.
The Chinese foreign minister also stressed the importance of reaching consensus on a framework for peace talks and establish a follow-up mechanism so as to keep the dialogue, negotiations and other political efforts going forward.
Lavrov said that the situation in Syria was very complicated, and the only way out of the crisis was to nudge the Syrian government and the opposition to come to the negotiating table, and reach some consensus on their country's future.
Lavrov reiterated that Russia and China shared the same stance on a political solution to the Syria conflict, calling on the two sides to continue their close communication.
Confidence, patience, persistence needed in Syria peace talks: Chinese FM
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday said confidence, patience and persistence are needed in Syria peace talks.
The path of peace talks between different parties from Syria is bound to be tortuous with twists and turns, therefore confidence, patience and persistence are needed in order to find a middle way, said Wang at the Geneva II conference on Syria held here on Wednesday.
"Everyone who loves peace views this meeting a milestone," he said, noting that it has been not easy for different parties from Syria to sit down together for negotiation.
"So we should cherish this opportunity and keep on talking, bearing in mind that understanding each other and making compromise are important in producing a resolution," Wang said.
To resolve the conflicts in Syria is urgent, while the priority is to cease fire and stop violence, Wang told representatives at the meeting held in the lakeside city of Montreux.
"Military actions are doomed to fail," he said, urging different parties from Syria to stick to the road of political resolution, so as to find a middle way that suits Syria's real national situation and addresses interests of both sides.
He proposed that Syria learn from other nations as how to settle domestic disputes, and set up a transitional governing body that is recognized by both sides and exerts full administerial power.
"The talk should be carried on step-by-step," Wang said. "They should reach agreement in principles first, before making progress in less controversial issues."
He noted that the Geneva conference was a lasting process. "It should become an open platform with follow-up mechanism provided so as to boost involvement of all those who would like to resolve the problem," Wang said.
The minister called for respect for Syrian people's will for unity, and pointed out the danger of split of the country.
He said he believed the stability of Syria is crucial to regional security, and warned against the spread of terrorism and extremism.
Wang stressed that voices from all parties be equally heard, and all ethnical and religious groups and factions have their rights and interests balanced, especially minority groups, women and refugees.
"We should be wary of any behavior of discrimination, instigation and revenge," he said.
As for the international community, Wang said it should play a positive role as a major mediator, giving advice that is helpful for reconciliation, but must not impose any political scheme on Syria.
"China is here for peace and for reconciliation," he said. "And we stick to our view that the conflict should be resolved through peace talks."
He reiterated the "five insists": insisting on political resort, Syrian people's own decisions, political transition with inclusiveness, unity and reconciliation, and humanitarian aid.
"To achieve the peaceful resolution, China gives its support for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapon and its fleet are currently escorting in the Mediterranean Sea," he said.
China has also sent more than 100 million yuan (16.7 million U.S. dollars) to Syria and its neighboring countries for people suffering from the turmoil.
It recently offered Syria relief worth 20 million yuan. Wang announced at the conference that more aid worth another 20 million yuan is to be provided.
The United Nations-backed international conference, dubbed Geneva II after an initial meeting was held on June 30, 2012, is aimed to end the three-year Syrian conflict that has so far killed at least 130,000.
It is chaired by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and brings together representatives from both the Syrian government and opposition organizations for the first time in three years.