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China-Arab relations make progress despite regional changes


12:12, March 10, 2013

BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- The relations between China and the Arab world have made further progress amidst political changes of some countries in West Asia and North Africa, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Saturday.

There have been changes in political situations in this region, but what has remained unchanged is the deep traditional friendship between the Chinese people and the people in this region, he told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the national legislature.

China understands the wishes for change and the aspirations of the people in the region and supports them in exploring the path of development on their own, he said.

"We will continue to provide economic, technological and humanitarian assistance to relevant countries with the best of our ability, " he added. "The relations between China and the Arab states will continue to forge ahead."

On the Syrian crisis which has been going on for more than two years, Yang said China is deeply distressed and concerned about the people who are still bleeding and suffering.

"What China bears in mind is the peace and stability of this region and the fundamental interest of the Syrian people," he said.

"We respect the wish and choice of the Syrian People and we do not patronize any particular side. We will respect and support any solution that can be accepted by all the relevant parties in Syria."

"The international community has increasingly come to recognize that military means are not an option, only dialogue and negotiations can provide the way out," he said.

"Since the use of force can not resolve the issue, why don't the parties involved sit down and talk to each other? Since an agreement has been reached on seeking a political settlement at the Geneva foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group on Syria, why haven't concrete actions been taken to implement it?" he said.

China stays in contact with the Syrian government and its opposition with the purpose of encouraging them to hold dialogue for a peace settlement. China also supports UN-AL Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi in his mediation efforts and supports the efforts made by the leaders of the Arab League and other countries in this region for a political settlement, he said.

China has provided timely humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people and will continue to do so, he added.

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