|Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Briefing on Syria|
I would like to thank Special Envoy Pedersen for his very comprehensive briefing, I have also listened carefully to the statement by Ms. Hijazi. I would like to highlight some points regarding relevant issues.
First, regarding the political process. China supports advancing the Syrian-led and Syrian-own political process in accordance with resolution 2254. We commend the efforts by Special Envoy Pedersen in promoting mutual trust among parties to work in the same direction. We hope that the next round of Constitutional Committee will be launched soon and it should be pointed out that relevant work should remain independent and free from external interference. We also welcome the new round of meetings of the Astana process last month, and hope that the process will continue to contribute to a comprehensive solution to the Syrian issue. China has always emphasized that constitution-making and elections alone are not enough to solve the Syrian issue. To truly make progress on the political track, the international community needs to have an integrated approach for the major issues that endanger Syria’s sovereignty, security and development in order to create enabling conditions for the political process in the country.
Second, regarding the occupation of Syria by external forces, Syria’s sovereignty should be fully respected. This is the principle that should always be insisted upon when we deal with the Syrian issue. No foreign troops are allowed to be deployed in Syria, including the Golan, without the consent of the Syrian Government. Whether it is the military operation across the Syrian border, the construction of settlements in the Golan area, or the theft of oil from northeastern Syria, they have all undermined the sovereignty of the country, violated the interests of the Syrian people and spoiled the efforts by the international community for political settlement. China urges relevant countries to earnestly respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and abide by the UN Charter and international law, stop the occupation of, annexation of and attack on Syria.
Third, regarding combating terrorism. The recent attack on the prison that houses terrorist detainees in northeastern Syria might result in the flight of terrorist detainees. China expresses its concern. We urge the relevant party to ensure that similar incident will not happen again. The existence of terrorism cannot be regarded as normal in Syria. The international community must take a clear stance on counter-terrorism and carry out counter-terrorism cooperation in accordance with international law and Council resolutions and jointly fight terrorist forces in Syria. We must respect the Syrian Government's leadership in fighting terrorism. And we must not engage in double standard. China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with Syria to help it improve its capability. in fighting terrorism.
Fourth, regarding cooperation among regional countries. The situation in Syria bears on regional security and stability, and an early and comprehensive solution to the Syrian issue is in the common interest of regional countries. China welcomes the efforts by relevant regional countries to strengthen diplomatic, economic, and trade interactions with Syria and welcomes the fact that Arab countries are actively considering Syria’s return to the League of Arab States. We hope that such encouraging momentum will yield practical results, and form synergy with the UN's good offices. The international community should encourage countries in the region to strengthen dialogue and cooperation, and create positive conditions for this.
In conclusion, I wish to reiterate our consistent position. The consideration of the Syrian issue by the Council three times a month does not facilitate an integrated and comprehensive perspective, and serious consideration should be given to combining them into one meeting or making other more reasonable arrangements. This will not only help us seek a package solution to relevant issues, but also reduce the use of Council resources.
I thank you, Madam President.