China wants positive, rational response on Syria

Beijing, Sep 12 (IANS) China Thursday called for a positive and rational response to the Syria issue and suggested a second international conference on the country in Geneva at an early date.

"Important opportunities have emerged on easing tension in Syria. We hope all parties can grasp the opportunities, make a positive and rational response," Xinhua quoted Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei as saying at a regular news briefing.

His comment came after the French government Wednesday said it has kept open the military option to act in Syria if a diplomatic solution fails.

Hong again called for a solution on Syria through political and diplomatic means to preserve peace and stability in the country and the region.

He called for an end to the war and violence to ensure the human rights of the Syrian people, after the UN Human Rights Council concluded in a report that the Syrian government and the opposition both committed human rights violations and war crimes.

"The imperative is to urge all parties to cease fire and stop the violence, convene the second international meeting on Syria in Geneva as soon as possible and settle their disagreements through dialogue and negotiation," Hong said.

The International Commission of Inquiry, set up by the UN Human Rights Council, said Wednesday in a report on Syria that the Syrian government and pro-government forces have continued to conduct widespread attacks on the civilian population, committing murder, torture, rape and enforced disappearance as crimes against humanity.

Meanwhile, anti-government armed groups have also committed war crimes, including murder, execution without due process, torture, hostage-taking and attacking protected objects, said the report, which is due to be presented to the Human Rights Council's ongoing session Sep 16.

"The Syrian people's human rights can only be guaranteed by realising their national security and stability first," Hong said.

Asked to comment on the US and Russian foreign ministers' meeting on the implementation of the Russian proposal on Syria, Hong said China supports reaching a consensus on the implementation of the initiative through consultation.

Hong welcomed Russia's proposal and praised it as "providing an important chance" to relieve the current tension, reiterating China's position on the use of chemical weapons and a political solution on Syria.

"We have no further information," Hong said when asked about the latest developments of the Wednesday meeting of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

China supports the UN Security Council's role on issues of world peace and security and is willing to keep in contact with all members of the Council, He said.

Diplomatic sources said the Security Council meeting to discuss Syria's chemical weapons produced no deal, with Russia blocking the move to mount pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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