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China's special envoy calls for halting violence in Syria

(Xinhua)

14:22, October 28, 2011

DAMASCUS, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's special envoy to the Middle East Thursday called for halting all forms of violence in Syria and taking all necessary measures to prevent the bloodshed, expressing support to the Arab League's efforts to bring the months-long crisis in Syria to a close.

"The people's legitimate demands should be respected as it's a pre-condition for pushing the reform process," Wu Sike told a press conference in the capital of Damascus on Thursday.

His visit came in the wake of a visit to Syria by an Arab League (AL) ministerial committee delegation that has reportedly proposed an Arab initiative to end the crisis in Syria and embark on dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition.

"China supports the AL efforts in backing the dialogue and reform in Syria," said Sike, who arrived in Damascus Wednesday for a three-day visit.

Sike echoed China's concern over the "bloody clashes" in Syria and called for implementing reform through dialogue and other peaceful methods.

He made it clear that the Syrian people's demands could be met by expediting an inclusive process of reform participated by all related parties.

Wu Sike said that he held separate meetings Thursday with Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa and Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, during which he "deeply exchanged views with them" and "expressed hope the Syrian government will accelerate the reform process."

Sike voiced his country's keenness about Syria's stability and security, which, he said, are "important for the stability of the entire Middle East."

He reasserted the continued cooperation between the two countries "in all international forums" and his country's standing alongside Syria against all attempts of interfering in its internal affairs.

He said that China desn't side with any Syrian party but it seeks to take a just stance as a member of the Security Council, stressing his country's commitment to the principle of non- intervention in other country's internal affairs.

Earlier this month, China and Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution criticizing the Syrian government for allegedly suppressing protests.

The Chinese envoy called on the international community to respect Syria's sovereignty and stability and to deal with the Syrian situation cautiously and carefully.

He pointed out that his country didn't introduce an initiative to the Syrian leadership but shared some thoughts and suggestions.

He suggested that the Arab League is an important regional organization and that it should work to end the Syrian crisis, as Syria is a member of it.

"We will remain in contact with Syria and the AL to push forward the reform process," said Sike.

The AL ministerial committee, including foreign ministers of Qatar, Egypt, Oman, Algeria, Sudan and the AL chief Nabil al-Arabi, arrived in Damascus Wednesday to discuss ways of ending the seven- month-long crisis through dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition.

At an emergency meeting held in Egypt's capital of Cairo on Oct. 16, the AL decided to give Syria a 15-day deadline to enact a cease-fire and agreed to form a committee led by Qatar with representatives from Algeria, Sudan, Oman and Egypt, and the AL chief Arabi to supervise the situation in Syria. Moreover, the Arab foreign ministers called for a national dialogue between Syrian authorities and the opposition.

According to the Arab initiative, solutions to end the crisis in Syria include initiating dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition, releasing political detainees and demonstrators, forming a national unity government led by an acceptable figure, as well as holding parliamentary elections by 2014.

Syria has been gripped by more than seven months of protests it blames on armed groups and thugs backed by a foreign conspiracy. It said more than 1,000 army personnel have been killed during the unrest.

According to figures released by the United Nation, More than 3, 000 people, including army and security members, have been killed in the turmoil.

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