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Statement by Ambassador ZHANG Jun at the Security Council Meeting on the Political Process in Syria

2019/12/20

Madam President,

I wish to thank Special Envoy Pedersen for his briefing.

The establishment of the Constitutional Committee is a good start for the Syrian political process. Since the end of October, both the large body of the Constitutional Committee and the 45-member small group have initiated their work. China welcomes such progress and appreciates Special Envoy Pedersen's meditation efforts and the constructive participation of all Syrian parties. At the same time, the Syrian parties still have differences in terms of the work of the Constitutional Committee. This is inevitable. We hope that all parties will maintain political dialogue through the Constitutional Committee to enhance mutual understanding and trust.

China supports Special Envoy Pedersen in building on the results already achieved, in accordance with the "Syrian-led, Syrian-owned" principle and Security Council Resolution 2254, and continuing to advance the Syrian political process. Attention should be paid to maintaining the independence of the work of the Constitutional Committee. There should be no outside interference nor arbitrary time limits.

The sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria should be fully respected. The legitimate desires of the Syrian Government should be heeded. Syria can not be divided or fragmented. We expect the members of the Constitutional Committee to put the interests of Syria and its people first, and participate in the dialogue with the political will and a spirit of compromise. China welcomes the new round of Astana dialogue convened last week in Nur-Sultan by Russia, Iran, and Turkey, and hopes this will help the Syrian parties bridge their differences and build consensus.

Eradicating terrorist forces is a necessary security prerequisite for the Syrian people to return to peace and an orderly life. Countries should continue to act in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions and the international law, to combat all forms of terrorism with uniform standards. Idlib has become a breeding ground for terrorism. The problem of foreign terrorist fighters in Syria came to the fore. The risk of terrorists spreading in the northeast of Syria is rising. There may be a resurgence of the Islamic State. These are threats to peace and security in Syria, in the Middle East and also in the world.

All parties should avoid actions that threaten the achievements of counter-terrorism, try their best to work together, and earnestly explore the issue of how to bring the terrorists to justice. We recommend that the United Nations Secretariat pay close attention to the counter-terrorism developments in Syria and the flow of terrorists, while proceeding to establish a database about the terrorists, and to provide relevant timely information to the countries concerned, to solidify conditions for the next step in solving the issue of foreign terrorist fighters, and other problems.

While advancing the Syrian political process, the international community should work to improve the economic and humanitarian situation in Syria, treat and alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Syria in a comprehensive, objective and balanced manner . Syria currently faces economic sanctions, oil shortages, damaged or run-down infrastructures, and insufficient resources for reconstruction, and other difficulties, which have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis on the ground and have severe negative impact on the lives of the Syrian people.

The large number of refugees has also imposed economic and social pressure on Syria's neighboring countries and has become a destabilizing factor in the region. The provision of humanitarian supplies to Syria should not have political preconditions attached to it. Humanitarian relief operations in Syria should be carried out with increased communication and coordination with the Syrian government, and with respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria.

China wishes to reiterate its support for the Syrian political process. It stands ready to play a constructive role for the early restoration of peace, stability and development in Syria. At the same time, all parties should make a joint effort to contribute to advancing the political process in Syria, help build mutual trust, and work for the same goal and meet each other half way.

China does not support discussing the Syrian human rights issue at the SC, or using the human Rights issue to impose pressure on the country concerned, or making accusations against it. This is not in line with the mandates of the SC, nor will it help create a good atmosphere for the political process in Syria.

Thank you, Madam President.

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