China Calls For Rapid Response to Annan Syria Plan
BEIJING, March 30 (RIA Novosti) - China called on the Syrian opposition on Friday to respond quickly to special envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.
"The Chinese side welcomes the Syrian government’s positive response to Annan’s proposals and hopes they will soon be put into practice. We also call on the Syrian opposition to give its practical response as soon as possible in order to facilitate the beginning of dialog and the end of violence,” he said.
The six-point plan by UN and Arab League special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan includes implementing a UN-supervised ceasefire, ensuring nationwide access to humanitarian aid in Syria, releasing political prisoners, upholding freedom of movement and association and advancing the political process in the country.
The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad voiced support for the plan after talks with Annan in Damascus earlier this month.
The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman also welcomed a statement by the leaders of Arab League states, which rejected foreign interference into Syrian affairs and stopped short of demanding Syrian President Bashar Assad’s resignation at their summit in Baghdad on Thursday.
Hong expressed hope that the “international community will support mediation efforts by Annan and will play its part in reaching a peaceful and just solution of the Syrian problem.”
Over 9,000 have died in the year-long conflict between Assad’s government and the political opposition, according to latest UN estimates. Western powers have called on Assad to step down, but the demand was not included in Annan’s plan, which was supported by Moscow.
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