China, France uphold deal on Syria CWs

China, France uphold deal on Syria CWs
Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:39:46

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his French counterpart Laurent Fabius have welcomed the deal between the United States and Russia to bring Syria's chemical weapons stockpile under the United Nations’ supervision.

"The Chinese side welcomes the general agreement between the US and Russia. This agreement will enable tensions in Syria to be eased," Wang Yi said at a meeting with his visiting French counterpart Laurent Fabius on Sunday.

"We believe that this framework agreement has ameliorated the present explosive and tense situation in Syria and has opened a new perspective on using peaceful methods to resolve the Syrian chemical weapons issue," Chinese foreign minister said.

"China upholds the finding of an appropriate resolution to the Syrian issue, including that of the chemical weapons, under the framework of the United Nations," Wang added.

"The UN Security Council should play an important role in this ... Military methods cannot resolve the Syria issue."

Fabius, who arrived in Beijing Sunday morning and was due to head back to Paris later the same day, called the pact "a significant step forward" and said "important decisions need to be taken on Syria".

"We must move forward on the basis of this general agreement."

The US-Russian agreement was reached in Geneva on Saturday after three days of talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russia's Sergei Lavrov.

It is intended to bring Syria's chemical weapons under international control by the middle of next year and leaves the door open to sanctions if Damascus fails to comply, but does not specify what they would be.

The US says more than 1,400 people were killed, while the Syrian government denies responsibility and says it has evidence that rebel forces carried out the attack as a false-flag operation.

More than 110,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the two-and-a-half year conflict, and militant representatives have rejected the US-Russian deal, fearing it eliminates any chance of Western military intervention on their side.

China as a veto-wielding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council joined with Russia to block resolutions supported by Washington and its allies.

Beijing routinely says it opposes interference in other countries' internal affairs.


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