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Syrian envoy praises role of China, Russia

By Li Lianxing and Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

08:50, August 16, 2012

The stances of China and Russia on Syria are consistent with the United Nations Charter, international laws and ethical values, and are helpful to the peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis, the Syrian president's top envoy said in Beijing on Wednesday.

"We're happy to see countries like China and Russia, who are not colonizers or deal with people as colonizers," Bouthaina Shaaban, political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, told China Daily. This is "a very different stance from the West", she added.

What happened in Libya cannot be repeated in Syria, and China's principles are helping to avoid civil war, which would cause more casualties, Shaaban said.

Shaaban, who is in Beijing this week for talks, is scheduled to meet Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Thursday.

The visit is to give "the Chinese leadership a real picture of what's going on in Syria" and coordinate with China to solve the current crisis that has taken thousands of people's lives, she said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Monday that China is also considering inviting members of the Syrian opposition groups to visit Beijing.

The 18-month crisis is estimated to have affected 2 million people and displaced more than 1 million, Valerie Amos, the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, said on Tuesday in Syria.

Shaaban said the "most dangerous, rigid and harmful sanctions" issued by the West have affected the health sector and the lives of ordinary Syrian civilians, and the West is worsening the situation by "supporting with arms and money people who are inciting the civil war in Syria".

The Syrian government reiterated its commitment to the six-point peace plan of outgoing UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan after his resignation on Aug 2, but conflicts continue in parts of the country, with the reported involvement of heavy weapons, which the opposition groups also possess.

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