China Hails Iran’s Role in Syrian Settlement

China Hails  Iran’s Role  in Syrian Settlement
China Hails  Iran’s Role  in Syrian Settlement

A high-ranking Chinese diplomat praised Tehran for helping resolve the six-year conflict in Syria, saying Iran's significant influence enables it to play a unique role in the settlement of the lingering dispute.  

"China appreciates the value of Iran's positive efforts at [consolidating] the [December 30] ceasefire and pursuing a political way out of the conflict," Chinese Special Envoy for Syria Xie Xiaoyan said in a press conference at China's Embassy in Tehran on Saturday, IRNA reported.

The conference was held on the last day of his stay in Iran, where he arrived on Thursday to pay his second visit this year after a February trip.

During the stay, Xie, a former ambassador to Iran, exchanged views with Iranian officials and experts, including the head of Expediency Council's Center for Strategic Research, Ali Akbar Velayati, on the Syrian crisis.

The Chinese diplomat said Tehran and Beijing, as two strategic partners, have long urged all parties to find a political solution to the crisis and acted in unison to tackle the problem.  

Xie said Iran and China believe that Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be preserved, and both sides support efforts on this path under the auspices of the United Nations.

"Concurrent with the ceasefire, political talks, humanitarian relief and anti-terrorism efforts, we should get closer to a plausible solution," he said.


***Syrians Have Final Say

Xie said Syrians must have the final say in shaping their country's future and presidency, and outside powers should respect the principle of self-determination and not impose their will.

The fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has long been a bone of contention between the opposing sides, including the two backers of the Syrian government, Iran and Russia, and western and regional supporters of militants that had set the departure of Assad as a precondition for resolving the crisis.

China has generally tried to keep a low-profile regarding the Syrian conflict, although it has on several occasions vetoed the western-proposed draft UNSC resolutions against the Syrian government.

But Beijing has recently been trying to get more involved, although it has announced its lack of interest in Syria.

Xie said he has discussed the issue with officials from dozens of countries since he was appointed as the envoy on Syria in April 2016.

"China has gained the trust of the players in the conflict and there is hope that it can play a bigger part in its resolution," he said.

"Iran is one of the countries that can play an important role in this issue. We are ready for consultations with Iranian counterparts whenever the need arises."

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