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Statement by Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu at Security Council Meeting on Syria

2018/05/16

Madam President,

I would like to begin by thanking Mr. De Mistura, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Syria, for his briefing. I appreciate his tireless efforts to find a political solution to the conflict.

In recent weeks, various members of the international community have made tremendous efforts to restore momentum in the political process. China welcomes the latest round of Astana talks and its joint communiqué, and salutes Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Iran for their efforts. We hope that this dialogue will continue to play a positive role in helping to maintain a ceasefire in Syria and advance the Geneva negotiations.

China has always maintained that a political solution is the only possible option where the issue of Syria is concerned, and that achieving that goal will require efforts on the international, regional and national fronts.

First, the international community should continue to give its support to the United Nations as the main channel for mediation, and to Mr. De Mistura's efforts to relaunch the Geneva negotiations as soon as possible, on a basis of full respect for Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity and with a view to helping the conflicting parties to engage in negotiations on political governance, the Constitution, elections and counterterrorism. The Council should remain united in moving the Syrian political process forward.

Secondly, the countries involved in the region should take Syria's long-term interests and stability into consideration and play a constructive role in helping to find a political solution. China notes that there have been attacks on targets inside Syria. We hope that the parties concerned will remain calm, show restraint and work together to maintain regional peace and stability.

Thirdly, both the Syrian Government and the opposition, based on concern for the future of their country and the fundamental interests of their people, should proceed to participate in the Geneva negotiations without preconditions, in accordance with the principle of a dialogue that is Syrian-owned and Syrian-led, and on the basis of resolution 2254 (2015), with a view to actively engaging in gradual efforts to reach a settlement that is acceptable to all the parties.

For its part, China has been working relentlessly to find a solution. On 13 and 14 May, in the first instance of such an event held on Syria in China, we hosted an international seminar in Shanghai on the prospects for a political settlement to the Syrian issue. It was attended by Xie Xiaoyan, China's Special Envoy for Syria, a representative of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General, and the Special Envoys of the United Kingdom and France for Syria, as well as experts and scholars from many countries. Participants had in-depth discussions on the prospects for a solution, the factors bearing on a political settlement and the role of the international community. Our Special Envoy remains in close contact with the parties concerned in his continuing efforts to help reach a solution. Together with the rest of the international community, China stands ready to continue to play a positive and constructive role in finding a political solution to the issue.

Thank you, Madam President.

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