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No preconditions for Syria peace talks- China
October 31, 2013, 5:48 am

Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, speaks with U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 [AP]

Syrian President Bashar Assad (right) speaks with UN-Arab League Envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus, Syria [AP]

Beijing has reaffirmed its stance on resolving the crisis in Syria through political means and has called for all parties to join the Geneva 11 peace talks brokered by Russia and the United States.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Paris on Wednesday said all parties must “participate in the Geneva II conference without any preconditions in order to strike a deal on the political transition process”.

Wang’s comments come in the backdrop of both the Syrian government and the opposition sticking to previously stated positions which might further postpone the conference set to be held in November.

In a meeting on Wednesday with UN-Arab League Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus, Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad said he is open to peace talks but insisted that they would not go ahead unless foreign nations stopped supporting rebel fighters.

“Putting an end to support for the terrorists and pressuring the states that support them is the most important step to prepare…for dialogue,” President Assad said.

A group of Western and Arab foreign ministers, the Friends of Syria group last week failed to persuade Syrian opposition leaders to attend the Geneva II peace conference.

Syrian National Coalition leader Ahmad al-Jarba laid strict pre-conditions of Assad’s removal for the group to consider participating in the Geneva II peace talks.

“The aim was to remove the criminal from power and the war criminals are tried – then we welcome Geneva II. These are our true demands and this is where we stand, and to build on these principles, together we will rid Syria and the region of the spreading fire. These are requests not conditions. But Geneva II cannot be a success without these,” he said.

The Chinese foreign minister on Wednesday called on “relevant countries and regions to use their unique influences to send a concerted signal on the convening of the Geneva II conference and the full implementation of the Geneva Communique”.

He also asserted that “the future of Syria should be determined only by its own people”.

Wang said Chinese experts have taken part in the process of destroying Syrian chemical stockpiles and that the China is willing to provide financial support in this regard.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by telephone on Tuesday to discuss preparations for the Geneva 11 peace conference on Syria.

With inputs from Agencies

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