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China backs mediation efforts, visits by joint special envoy, UN relief chief to Syria

(Xinhua)

10:39, March 07, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, March 6 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday voiced its support to the mediation efforts by Kofi Annan, the joint UN and Arab League special envoy on the Syrian crisis, and the upcoming respective visits to the Middle East country by Annan and Valerie Amos, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs.

The statement came as Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, spoke to the UN-based Chinese media on the eve of the visits to Syria by Annan and Amos.

"China supports their mediation and visits, hoping this will be conducive to the political settlement of the Syrian problem, and coordinating the humanitarian relief efforts to Syria," Li said.

"China is ready to render humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people," he said.

"We noted that there have been some new changes recently on the issue of Syria," he said, referring to the mediation efforts by Annan and the scheduled visit by Amos.

Amos is expected to arrive in Syria on Wednesday to urge all the parties to the conflict to allow in humanitarian assistance while Annan is due in the Middle East region to begin efforts to end the violence.

In late February, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked Amos, who is also the UN emergency relief coordinator, to visit Syria to assess the humanitarian situation there and renew the call for urgent humanitarian access.

Annan is scheduled to begin his visit to the region on Wednesday in the Egyptian capital of Cairo, where he will meet with the secretary-general of the Arab League, Nabil El-Araby.

The joint special envoy, who was former UN secretary-general, will then proceed to Damascus, capital of Syria, on Saturday to seek an urgent end to all violence and human rights violations and to initiate efforts to promote a peaceful solution. He is also due to visit other countries in the region.

Li said that he had a deep exchange of views on the humanitarian situation in Syria with Amos before she left New York for Syria.

Annan also sought China's views and proposals on the Syrian issue, Li added.

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