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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Meeting on Idlib

2020-02-28 10:56

Mr. President,

I thank Secretary-General Guterres and USG DiCarlo for their briefings.

China has been following very closely the developments in Idlib. The Idlib problem is rooted in the control of Idlib by terrorist forces. The parties concerned should continue to seek a comprehensive and long-term solution to the Idlib problem through dialogue and negotiations. In the process, Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity must be upheld. We have noted that the leaders of Russia and Turkey have kept in close communication. The Syrian issue has its complicated background. The Council must act in an impartial, objective and comprehensive manner to create enabling conditions for a political settlement for the Syrian issue.

Terrorism is a common enemy of the international community. According to the Secretary-General’s report, terrorist forces systematically harm civilians, journalists and medical workers in Idlib. Eradicating the forces of terror is a necessary requirement for the restoration of peace and stability in Syria and the region. The listed terrorist groups should be resolutely combated in accordance with relevant Council resolutions and international law, and the safe haven established by terrorist forces in Syria should be removed. At the same time, the counter-terrorism operations should be cautious, not to harm civilians. Weapons seized in the course of counter-terrorism operations should be investigated for their origins, and the channels for supplying weapons to terrorist organizations should be cut off. Measures should be taken to prevent foreign terrorist fighters from fleeing to other countries or regions to continue their terrorist activities.

China is deeply concerned about the overall humanitarian situation in Syria. China supports the efforts of the United Nations to assist Syrian refugees and displaced civilians. The living conditions of the Syrian people are very difficult as a result of years of war, dilapidated infrastructure and economic sanctions. The international community should provide the United Nations with adequate funding and resources to ensure the provision of humanitarian supplies to population in need throughout Syria.

The Syrian government has made a number of decisions to assist international humanitarian relief operations. OCHA should actively communicate with the Syrian government and prioritize the channels provided by the Syrian government to carry out humanitarian relief operations and address the need of medical supplies in northeastern Syria. China supports the Syrian government in its reconstruction efforts in areas where security situation is relatively stable and also its effort to clear explosive remnants of war, which is conducive to improving the humanitarian situation on the ground.

The United Nations should continue to take forward the Syrian political process that is Syrian-led and Syrian-owned according to Security Council resolution 2254. The Syrian political process should be for the Syrian people themselves to find a way out, free from outside interference.

China supports the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria in strengthening his communication with the Syrian government and making full use of the platform of the Constitutional Committee in an effort to make new progress.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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