|Remarks by Amb. Geng Shuang at Security Council briefing on the political situation in Syria|
Thank you, Mr President,
China thanks Special Envoy Pedersen and Ms. Hussain for their briefings. We appreciate the Special Envoy’s efforts to promote the implementation of Security Council Resolution 2254 and to advance the work of the Syrian Constitutional Committee.
The Syrian issue should ultimately be resolved through political means. It is precisely because of the lack of progress on the political track that the international relief efforts are so overstretched on the humanitarian track. China supports the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process, the full implementation of Resolution 2254, as well as the mediation efforts of Special Envoy Pedersen.
As Syria suffers from foreign occupation, unilateral sanctions and terrorism, it is difficult for the constitutional committee to make progress as expected. Nevertheless, negotiation is always better than conflict. China hopes that the constitutional committee will launch its sixth round of work as soon as possible while staying independent and free from external interference.
At the same time, we must recognize that constitution making and elections alone are not enough to resolve the Syrian issue. Progress on the political track depends on the building of mutual trust between the Syrian parties and those who have influence on the Syrian situation. Only with such mutual trust can consensus be formed on issues of common concern to the Syrian people, and be implemented in a step-by-step and reciprocal manner. In this process, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, as well as the ownership of the Syrian people must be fully respected. Unilateral sanctions against Syria must stop. Any schemes for regime change in Syria must be utterly renounced.
The mandate of the Syrian cross-border humanitarian access is about to expire. The Security Council should have a thorough exchange of views on the draft resolution, conduct in depth and comprehensive consultations, strive for consensus, and avoid a showdown. Doing so will help all parties to increase mutual trust and create favorable conditions for advancing the political process.
Advancement in the Syrian political process requires a good security environment. In northwest Syria, terrorist organizations listed by the Security Council launch repeated attacks and kidnap civilians. Frequent eruption of hostilities in the northeast have resulted in civilian displacement. Foreign troops continue to operate in Syria without any timeframe for withdrawal. All these have added to the complexity of the Syrian security situation. China urges all parties concerned to implement the Secretary-General's appeal for global ceasefire, and end foreign occupation of Syria as soon as possible. China calls on the international community to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation in accordance with international law and Security Council resolutions, and jointly combat terrorist forces in Syria.
The Syrian economy is in deep distress. Without timely international assistance, the humanitarian consequences will be disastrous. Claiming to seek solutions while allowing the problem to get worse simply won't work. China calls on relevant countries to resume economic and development assistance to Syria, and avoid linking aid with the political process.
Thank you, Mr. President.