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China FM tells Kerry to go through UN route on Syria
September 9, 2013, 5:33 am

Chinese FM Wang Yi said the discussion has to be brought back to the UNSC table  [Xinhua]

Chinese FM Wang Yi said the Syrian discussion has to be brought back to the UNSC table [Xinhua]

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday night that the Syria issue “should be dealt with under the framework of the UN Security Council [UNSC]”.

Wang communicated China’s stand during a telephone conversation with Kerry who is trying to rally support of the US Congress and the international community ahead of a crucial vote this week to back military strikes against Syria.

“The international community”, Wang said, “should abide by two principles on the Syria issue, namely, adhering to the basic norms in international relations and rejecting any use of chemical weapons”.

“That means the issue should be brought back to the framework of the UNSC, where relevant parties can seek consensus and formulate a proper approach”, he added.

Russia and China have said that a foreign military strike against Syria, without the sanction of the UN would be “illegal”.

As permanent members, China and the US “should give full play to the UNSC’s role in safeguarding international peace and security”, urged Wang.

However, the US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power said last week that there is “no viable path forward” in the UNSC on Syria, accusing Russian leaders of holding the council hostage.

“I was present in the meeting where the UK laid down the resolution, and everything in that meeting, in word and body language, suggests that that resolution has no prospect of being adopted, by Russia in particular,” Power said.

“In the wake of the flagrant shattering of the international norm against chemical weapons use, Russia continues to hold the council hostage and shirk its responsibilities, including as a party to the chemical weapons convention,” she added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a meeting with his American counterpart Barack Obama in Saint Petersburg on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, had told Obama that China will stick to its stand of opposing any military action and that “a political solution is the only right way out for the Syria crisis.”

“A military strike cannot solve the problem from the root,” said the Chinese president. “We expect certain countries to have a second thought before action.”

Meanwhile, in an interview to CBS network on Sunday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said, “There has been no evidence that I used chemical weapons against my own people.”

The White House has admitted it does not have “irrefutable” evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons but that a “common-sense test” says Assad is responsible.

“Now do we have a picture or do we have irrefutable beyond-a-reasonable-doubt evidence? This is not a court of law and intelligence does not work that way,” White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said on Sunday.

Source: Agencies