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Key leader of Syrian opposition heads to China for talks
January 5, 2016, 7:00 am

File photo:  president of Syria's main opposition National Coalition Khaled Khoja(2nd R) [Xinhua]

File photo: President of Syria’s main opposition National Coalition Khaled Khoja(2nd R) [Xinhua]

Khaled Khoja, the leader of Syria’s main western-backed opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, will hold talks with Chinese leaders in Beijing during his visit that begins today.

Khoja will visit China from Tuesday to Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press conference on Monday.

“Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet Khoja during his stay in Beijing to promote a political settlement in Syria,” Hua said.

Khoja, a member of Syria’s Turkmen minority who is politically close to Turkey, was invited by the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, the spokeswoman added.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks earlier with Syrian deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs Walid al-Moallem in Beijing on December 24.

China is joining global efforts to ending the four-and-half-year war, which has claimed over 250,000 lives and made 11 million people homeless.

World powers agreed on a plan for a cease-fire and a peace process in Syria during a UNSC meet last month.

Among the many obstacles to reaching the peace deal may be determining which of the disparate rebel groups would participate in the talks in January and whether they would come to the talks table without a guarantee of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s exit.

In a joint oped in the Guardian in November, Khaled Khoja president of the Syrian National Coalition reiterated the group’s opposition to Assad.

“Let us be clear: Assad never has been, nor will ever be, an alternative to Isis. He will never bring peace to Syria, nor will he ever be capable of taking on extremists,” wrote Khoja.

 

TBP and Agencies

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