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China to provide aid, training to Syria
August 17, 2016, 5:54 am

Russian airstrikes and Syrian government offensive continues against the Islamic State group (IS) and Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front in the war-torn country [Xinhua]

Russian airstrikes and Syrian government offensive continues against the Islamic State group (IS) and Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front in the war-torn country [Xinhua]

China will provide aid and military training to the Syrian government, a top Chinese security officer said on Tuesday.

Guan Youfei, director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China’s Central Military Commission, met Syrian Defence Minister Fahad Jassim al-Freij in Damascus, during which the two sides have discussed a military cooperation deal.

Guan said China had consistently played a positive role in pushing for a political resolution in Syria since the civil war began five years ago.

“China and Syria’s militaries have a traditionally friendly relationship, and China’s military is willing to keep strengthening exchanges and cooperation with Syria’s military,” Guan said.

Guan and al-Freij discussed the enhancement of training and “reached a consensus” on the Chinese military providing humanitarian aid to Syria.

Guan also met a Russian general in Damascus, Xinhua news agency said, without giving details.

Earlier this month, Chinese President Xi Jinping appointed career diplomat Qi Qianjin as the new Syrian envoy. China had in April this year appointed its first special envoy for the Syrian crisis.

While relying on the region for oil supplies, China tends to leave Middle Eastern diplomacy to the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely the United States, Britain, France and Russia.

But China has been trying to get more involved, including recently hosting both Syria’s foreign minister and opposition figures, though at different times.

Russian airstrikes and Syrian government offensive continues against the Islamic State group (IS) and Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front in the war-torn country.

The main opposition, the Syrian rebel group, along with the United States and other Western nations, has long insisted any peace deal must include Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s departure from power, while the Syrian government and Russia have said there is no such clause in the international agreements that underwrite the peace process.

Russia, along with its BRICS partners, are opposed to the ouster of Assad.

 

TBP and Agencies

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