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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Will Syria crisis be transformed into an opportunity?

By Ruan Zongze (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

09:39, March 22, 2012

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

An advance team dispatched by Kofi Annan, the joint U.N. and Arab League special envoy, left for Syria on Mar.19 to discuss conditions for deploying international observers in the country. On March 16, Annan briefed the U.N. Security Council on visiting Syria and putting forward a series of proposals to the Syrian government to end the violence as soon as possible, accelerate humanitarian assistance, and to launch a Syrians-led political dialogue. He said that he will return to Damascus if the advance team makes progress on implementing his proposals.

Annan's hard-won mediation mission is part of the latest effort by the international community to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis. China and Russia have played a constructive role in resolving the crisis peacefully.

China insists that Syrian affairs should be determined by the Syrian people, and external forces should not intervene militarily or conduct a regime change in the country. China's consistence stance has won the understanding and support of more and more countries.

Previously, China and Russia vetoed a Western-drafted Security Council resolutions that would allow military intervention and regime change in Syria. Furthermore, China has sent several special envoys to the Middle East to build up mutual trust among regional powers, and provided considerable humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people.

On March 4, China issued a six-point statement for political settlement of the Syrian crisis on the basis of international consensus, which has attracted worldwide attention, and encouraged all parties concerned to step up political efforts to resolve the crisis.

However, it should be noted that Syria remains a focus of struggle among major powers. Annan's mission of transforming the "crisis" into an "opportunity" still faces two severe challenges.

The first challenge is about stopping the violence, and the second one is about choosing between reforms and a regime change.

Obviously, some countries still have not given up their wishful plan of changing the political power of Syria. These countries are interested in the political reform of Syria, putting an end to bloody conflicts of Syria or making the people of Syria back to the peaceful normal life but in only the "downfall of Bashar al-Assad."

The problem is that, the more external support the opposition force gets, the more it does not want to sit down and negotiate with the government. The Vice Foreign Minister of Russia Bogdanov recently said that if other countries declare illegality of the Bashar administration, a negative result will come out, because it will send the opposition force a wrong signal that participating in the negotiation is meaningless.

In his report to the U.N. Security Council, Annan highly appraised China's standpoint on the Syria issue, attached great importance to the constructive role played of China and said that he hopes he could visit China as soon as possible. China will keep supporting Annan's mediation efforts for solving the Syria crisis and also calls on international communities to support his diplomatic efforts and create preferential conditions for his success.

Read the Chinese version at http://paper.people.com.cn/rmrbhwb/html/2012-03/20/content_1023075.htm

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romanov at 2012-03-2380.94.16.*
2012-2-22.Yesterday in Berlin treacherous russian Lawrov promise reliable concession to West in Syrian question.
wende at 2012-03-2271.255.86.*
There is no need to choose between reform or regime change. If there are reforms, then there is no rush to change the regime and all parties should wait for the results on the reforms. The main thing to consider is: what are the objectives of the reforms asked by the opposition? Without the stated objectives, opposition will always claim that the reforms are not sufficient or do not go the way they want.
  

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