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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Briefing on Syria

2021-09-28 12:14

Madam President,

I thank Special Envoy Pedersen for his briefing and express my appreciation for his recent visit to Damascus and for his active mediation efforts. I also listened carefully to the briefing by Ms. Rouba Mhaissen.

The Syrian crisis has dragged on for 10 years, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and the displacement of tens of millions of people. To put an early end to the Syrian crisis is a shared expectation of the international community and the Syrian people. Regrettably, today, after the Syrian crisis has entered the second decade, Syria still faces unabated violence and terrorist activities, rising humanitarian needs, and deep suffering for its people.

All of these highlights the necessity and urgency of a political solution to the Syrian crisis. China supports the full implementation of Resolution 2254 and advancement of a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process. Just now the special envoy introduced to us the good news of the progress in preparing the sixth round of the Constitutional Committee, which will start soon. We hope the Constitutional Committee stays independent and free from external interference, and yields productive results in the sixth round.

At the same time, we have realized that the Syrian political process cannot operate in a vacuum. If there is a serious lack of mutual trust among parties, it is hard for the Constitutional Committee to make a substantive progress. If schemes for regime change are still in place, the work of the special envoy is bound to be difficult. China calls on the Syrian parties to actively cooperate with the special envoy, strive to narrow differences, and build consensus through dialogue and consultation. At the same time, the international community should create favorable conditions for the political process. Foreign forces without the authorization of the Syrian Government should withdraw from the country immediately. Illegal unilateral sanctions against Syria should be lifted immediately. Any scheme to impose an external solution should be renounced immediately. Economical plunder of Syria should end immediately. Only by fully respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, and the right of its people to choose independently the political system and development path, can there be the possibility and hope for a successful political settlement.

Terrorism is a common enemy facing humanity. It can serve as a starting point for parties to carry out cooperation and build mutual trust. All parties should support the Syrian Government in combating terrorist organizations listed by the Security Council, and avoid double standards and political manipulation. The international community has reached a high degree of consensus on alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people. Helping Syria to improve people's livelihood and combat the pandemic can be another priority area of cooperation among parties. Opposing the Syrian Government cannot justify punishing the Syrian people.

Lastly, I'd like to take this opportunity to point out once again that devoting three meetings per month to the Syria issue takes up too much of the Council's resources. We support a gradual adjustment to combine discussions on political situation and humanitarian issues, while giving more consideration to closed consultations.

Thank you, Madam President.

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