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Remarks by Acting DPR Mr. Yao Shaojun at Security Council VTC Meeting on Syria (Political)

2020-05-18 05:15

Mr. President,

I thank Special Envoy Mr. Pedersen for your briefing. We appreciate your dedication and devotion to the political process of Syria.

China has been following the situation in Syria very closely. We are worried about the impact of COVID-19 in Syria. UN Secretary-General Mr. Guterres and Special Envoy Mr. Pedersen have issued ceasefire appeals on many occasions. We attach great importance to these appeals, and call on all parties to enhance mutual trust for deescalation and jointly combat the pandemic. There is a window of opportunity to promote inclusive dialogue and create favorable conditions for political solutions.

It is our consistent position of supporting the political solution of the conflict in Syria. The Syrian parties should continue to engage constructively with each other and maintain dialogue within the framework of the Constitutional Committee. The future of Syria must be decided by the Syrians on their own, without foreign interference. It is fundamental to respect and uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria. China will continue to support the good offices of the Special Envoy, in pursuit of a Syrian-led, Syrian-owned political process, in line with UNSC Resolution 2254.

At the same time, the international community should be alerted that terrorists are seeking to take advantage of the current situation. The terrorist groups are still making assaults in Idlib as well as other provinces, which pose constant threat to the security and stability of Syria and the entire region. The Security Council should pay close attention and support the Special Envoy call’s for effective, cooperative and targeted counter-terrorism efforts. We call on relevant parties to step up dialogue and negotiations to find long-term solution in terms of counter-terrorism at an early date.

Concerning COVID-19, although the number of confirmed cases in Syria is comparatively limited, containment and prevention measures are indispensable, given the quick transmission of the virus. The Syrian Government is taking effective measures in medical, transportation, education and many other sectors. We appreciate these efforts. It is the primary responsibility of the Syrian Government to cope with this public health crisis. China is ready to strengthen cooperation with the people and Government of Syria in combating the virus, and offer assistance within our capacity.

It is also high time for the international community to render more support for the urgent efforts of Syria. These efforts serve the interests of the Syrian people. Unilateral sanctions undermine countries’ capacity to mobilize resources and respond to the pandemic, and therefore should be lifted without delay.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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