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China's envoy arrives in Syria to discuss months-long crisis

(Xinhua)

09:55, March 07, 2012

DAMASCUS, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Li Huaxin, China's former Ambassador to Syria, arrived in Syria's capital Damascus Tuesday to hold talks with Syrian officials, calling mainly for an immediate cease-fire and talks by all parties while rejecting foreign intervention in Syria's affairs.

During his two-day visit, Li is set to meet with Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmad Arnous and some Damascus-based opponents.

On Sunday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a six-point statement for the political resolution on the Syrian issue, calling for ceasing all acts of violence, launching an inclusive political dialogue, supporting humanitarian relief efforts, respecting Syria's sovereignty, welcoming the appointment of the Joint Special Envoy on the Syrian crisis by the UN and the Arab League, and maintaining that UN Security Council members should abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations.

"China does not approve of armed interference or pushing for ' regime change' in Syria, and believes that use or threat of sanctions does not help to resolve this issue appropriately," said the ministry.

"We oppose anyone interfering in Syria's internal affairs under the pretext of humanitarian issues," it added.

China's recent efforts come as the international community has started to send signals that military intervention in Syria is not fully excluded.

Even though the U.S. government seems to favor a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis for now, calling on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down to make way for a peaceful transition, some voices inside President Barack Obama's administration have started to go in another direction.

U.S. Senator John McCain, for example, sees that the only " realistic way" to protect civilians in Syria is through "foreign air power."

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