|Statement by Ambassador Wu Haitao on Situation in Northwestern Syria at the Opening Meeting of the Security Council|
China thanks Special Envoy Geir Pederson and USG Mark Lowcock for their briefings and appreciates the United Nations' efforts to advance the Syrian political process and improve the humanitarian situation in Syria.
Political settlement is the only way to end the conflict in Syria. The United Nations should continue to advance the Syrian political process in accordance with the "Syrian-led, Syrian-owned" principle and Security Council resolution 2254. Last week, Special Envoy Pederson visited Syria and held talks with Syrian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Walid al Muallem. China supports the special envoy in his effort to strengthen communication with the Syrian government and heed its legitimate appeals. The independence of the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee should be maintained. It should not be subject to external interference, nor should there be any artificially pre-set timeframe. It should be left for the Syrian people to find their way out. Constitutional Committee members should show political will and, in the spirit of compromise, actively participate in dialogue, in a concerted effort to uphold Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity.
The complex situation in northwestern Syria is both a security issue and a humanitarian issue, traceable to the root of the terrorist forces' control of the Idlib area. The listed terrorist organizations must be resolutely crushed in accordance with Security Council resolutions and international law, by unified standards. Weapons collected in the course of combating terrorist organizations should be investigated for their origin and the channels for supplying weapons to terrorist organizations should be cut off. For foreign terrorist fighters, a database should be established to lay the foundation for addressing this problem, and measures should be taken to prevent them from fleeing to other countries and regions to continue their criminal activities. China supports the United Nations in helping the displaced civilians and hopes that the parties concerned will continue to seek comprehensive and long-term solutions to the Idlib issue through dialogue and negotiations.
China is deeply concerned about the overall humanitarian situation in Syria. Due to years of war, broken infrastructure, economic sanctions and other reasons, the living conditions of the Syrian people are very difficult. The international community should provide the United Nations with adequate funds and resources to ensure the provision of humanitarian supplies to the people in need throughout Syria, and at the same time support the Syrian government in its reconstruction efforts where security situation is relatively stable, repairing housing and other civilian infrastructure such as medical and educational facilities, and clearing explosive remnants of war. Only in so doing, can more and more Syrian people step out of the shadow of war and gradually lead a stable and orderly life.
Thank you, Mr. President.