Friday, February 24, 2012

China boycotts Syria meeting in new snub to West

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei

Source: Press TV

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei says his country will not participate in so-called 'Friends of Syria' conference, which is expected to gather several western nations and international groups in Tunisia.

Hong said China is not prepared to attend the conference as it needs to further study the aim, effect and mechanism of the conference, and has no idea of the preparations of the meeting.

He added that China is a friend of the Syrian and Arab nations.

“China supports all efforts that are conducive to peacefully and properly resolving the Syrian issue," Hong said.

The senior Chinese official pointed out that China hopes to work with all concerned parties to play a positive and constructive role in the process of settling the Syrian crisis.

China believes that any action taken by the international community should help end tensions, boost political dialogues, resolve differences and maintain peace and stability in the Middle East, Hong said.

'Friends of Syria' conference is to be held in the Tunisian capital Tunis on Friday.

Meanwhile, Russia has announced that it would not take part in the conference.

Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov on February 22 described the absence of Syrian officials at the 'Friends of Syria' conference as a big blunder by its organizers.

“Concerning the meeting, we have several questions, especially the composition of invitees. We paid the attention to the fact that there are no representatives of the Syrian government among them. In short, the organizers are planning to discuss issues related to Syria’s serious crisis without the involvement of one of its main players, the Syrian authorities,” Gatilov said.

“Secondly, on the eve of the meeting, the Western and Arab countries are supposed to meet separately. Supposedly, they will determine the character of discussion at the meeting in Tunisia and even will draft a final document. Russia believes that such an approach is completely unacceptable," he noted.

“We consider it is incorrect to adopt or draft documents on such an important issue without the involvement of key players of the Syrian crisis. Consequently, we consider that it’s impossible for Russia to take part in the meeting in Tunisia. We have informed our decision to its organizers,” Gatilov concluded.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March last year.

While the West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of the killings, Damascus blames ''outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups'' for the unrest that erupted in mid-March, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

In interviews with Israeli news outlets over the past few months, the Syrian armed rebels have clearly expressed their vision for the future of Syria and their interest in establishing relations with the Tel Aviv regime.

However, Syrian people have repeatedly expressed solidarity with the government.

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