China urges U.N. role on Syria after U.S. says gives up

BEIJING Fri Sep 6, 2013 4:41am EDT

A Free Syrian Army fighter poses for a picture as he holds an RPG launcher in Raqqa province, eastern Syria September 4, 2013. Picture taken September 4, 2013. REUTERS/Nour Fourat

A Free Syrian Army fighter poses for a picture as he holds an RPG launcher in Raqqa province, eastern Syria September 4, 2013. Picture taken September 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Nour Fourat

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry urged a role for the U.N. Security Council in resolving the crisis in Syria on Friday after the United States said it had given up trying to work with the council on Syria, accusing Russia of holding it hostage.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power's remarks on Thursday left no doubt that Washington would not seek U.N. approval for a military strike on Syria in response to an August 21 chemical attack near Damascus.

She said a draft resolution Britain submitted to the five permanent council members last week calling for a response to that attack was effectively dead.

Asked about those comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said the Security Council needed to be used.

"China supports the important role that the U.N. Security Council plays in properly resolving the Syria issue," Hong told a daily news briefing in Beijing.

"We hope that relevant parties can continue communications and coordination and hold deep consultations so as to resolve the relevant issue in a peaceful way," he added.

China has called for a full and impartial investigation by U.N. chemical weapons inspectors in Syria into the August 21 attack, and has warned against pre-judging the results. It has also said that whoever uses chemical weapons had to be held accountable.

"China believes that a political solution is the only realistic way out on the Syria issue. Given the current circumstances, a political solution is of utmost importance," Hong said.

"We also hope the international community can work together and push for the holding of an international conference on the Syria issue at an early date."

Russia and China have both vetoed previous Western efforts to impose U.N. penalties on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But China has also been keen to show it is not taking sides and has urged the Syrian government to talk to the opposition and take steps to meet demands for political change. It has said a transitional government should be formed.

(This story refiles to remove extraneous word "settlement" in the eighth paragraph)

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Comments (2)
Free_Pacific wrote:
China is stating that the U.N is no place to discuss it’s invasion and occupation of Islands belong to other Pacific states and is even ignoring arbitration (Under UNCLOS to which China is a signatory). But here it is calling for support for the U.N?

China and Russia will soon get the new world order they crave, by making a mockery of the existing order. We are all entering a dangerous new stage where countries like China and Russia, either invade and take new territory for their Empire (China) or threaten old satellites and begin carving them up (Russia), meanwhile shielding Dictators and tyrants and enabling lunatic theocracies to pursue their quest for nuclear weapons.

It’s time the free world reconsidered the current state of International law and realise it is time for a new system. The sooner they pick that up and run with it, the sooner they will get ahead of the curve being created by communist/persona ruled states.

Sep 06, 2013 11:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
prastagus wrote:
Free_pacific – disputed claims of territory vs actual CW attack / aerial bombing surgical strike is much different. If you cannot see that then you are just plain igonrant

Sep 06, 2013 2:29pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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