China, Britain issue statement on Syria

BEIJING, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) — China and Britain issued a statement on Syria issue in Beijing Tuesday, agreeing to advance counter-terrorism and a political settlement in parallel.

The statement was issued after the talks between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his British counterpart Philip Hammond.

The two countries voted in favor of the recent UN Security Council Resolution 2254 on Syria, and reconfirmed their support for a national ceasefire as set out in the resolution, said the statement.

They will continue to engage actively in the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and work with countries from around the region to ensure a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political transition based on the 2012 Geneva Communique, according to the statement.

China and Britain stressed that the Syrian people will decide the future of Syria, with the UN playing the role as the main mediator.

They expressed deep concern over the continued suffering of the Syrian people and the deteriorating humanitarian situation following the conflict, which had already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and displaced millions of people.

There are 13.5 million Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance, said the statement. The two countries will attend a London conference in February with other 60 countries to discuss offering immediate assistance to Syrian people, including responding to the UN’s urgent request for further funding.

“Both our countries face threats from terrorism, and have a shared interest in defeating all terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq as designated by the UN Security Council,” said the statement.

They stressed continued support for efforts to tackle terrorism and its root causes in the Middle East and North Africa regions and elsewhere, including the ongoing conflict in Syria, according to the statement.

“A political settlement is the only right way out of the Syrian crisis and is in the fundamental interests of the Syrian people. We will make unremitting effort to achieve this goal,” Wang said at a joint press conference with Hammond.

The world does not lack the ability or resources for the use of force, but steadfast determination and action for a political solution, Wang said.

“The path leading to a political settlement may be difficult, but it is an effective tool to fundamentally resolve the problem,” he said.

China will continue to play a constructive role in its own way, Wang added.

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