|Remarks by Counsellor Xing Jisheng at the UN Security Council Briefing on Syria|
I thank Special Envoy Geir Pedersen, and OCHA Coordination Director Rajasingham for their briefing. China supports the efforts of the Special Envoy to continue advancing the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process as mandated by resolution 2254 of this Council. We welcome Syria’s return to the League of Arab States. We support the Arabic countries in the spirit of strength through unity, play a greater constructive role in finding a political solution to the Syrian issue. Countries external to the region must fully respect the will and wishes of the countries in the region and their people, cease and desist from all rhetoric and actions that stand in the way of dialogue and reconciliation and create an enabling external environment for engagement and consultation.
China is concerned by the security situation in Syria. The international community must take a zero-tolerance approach to all elements of terrorism on the Syrian soil. A certain country has recently beefed up its illegal military presence in Syria, which China finds concerning. The illegal presence of foreign armed forces in Syria must be brought to an end without delay.
China supports the international community in providing assistance to all Syrian people who have humanitarian needs provided that Syria sovereignty and its government's ownership are fully respected. China welcomes the government's recent sovereign decision to open the Bab Al-Hawa border crossings. It has been confirmed by OCHA, that this permission by the Syrian government can indeed be the legal basis for the UN's humanitarian operations. We encourage the UN to sort out any subsequent operational issues with the Syrian government through dialogue and consultation. We also wish to reiterate that the cross-border delivery mechanism was a context-specific expedient, and there was a need to speed up the transition to cross-line assistance, so the former can be phased out and eventually discontinued.
Fostering Syrian-owned capacity for Syria's socio-economic recovery and development will go a long way towards easing the country's humanitarian woes. To this end, it is necessary to ensure the availability of adequate, balanced and sustainable funding to all parts of Syria and to further broaden the scope of early recovery programs as well as supporting sustainable development projects in key areas. Unilateral sanctions against Syria must be lifted without delay and without preconditions.
Thank you, Madam President.