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China to invite Syrian government, opposition

Syrian Foreign Minister Waleed Al-Mualem will visit China from 23 to 26 December, and will meet his Chinese counterpart.

“Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the third foreign ministers’ meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) in NY that the Chinese side would like to invite representatives of the Syrian government and relevant opposition forces to China as part of China’s constructive efforts to promote peace talks and the political settlement of the Syrian issue, ” said Hong Lei, Foreign Ministry spokesman, at the regular press conference.

With crucial backing from the United States and Russian Federation, the UN plan aims to agree a ceasefire in Syria, possibly in January, when talks could also begin.

He added Damascus would “compose a constitutional committee to look for a new constitution with a new law of election so the parliamentary election will be held within the period of 18 months, more or less”.

Wang declined to answer directly when asked if China thought Assad should remain in power or step down. Secondly, the UN Security Council has already adopted a pertinent resolution on the Syrian issue and it could serve the basis of our cooperation there.

China’s position is very clear”.

“This is for the Syrian people to decide”, Zhu said. The Chinese government has been clear about what it doesn’t want-Western-forced regime change, the spread of terrorism, a humanitarian crisis-but has been largely quiet on how to achieve the holy grail of a lasting negotiated peace.

Muallem’s comments appeared to be the first time since the beginning of the Vienna peace process in October that Syria’s government has responded so favorably to a new round of peace talks.

China’s Foreign Ministry earlier said that representatives of the Syrian opposition would also be invited to come over to discuss the situation.

Wang said that in addition to the better ties with Britain, there were other signs too that China was becoming more accepted by the worldwide community, including the including by the global Monetary Fund of the yuan into its benchmark currency basket.

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