China welcomes Russia-US deal on Syria

Updated: 2013-09-15 22:18


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BEIJING - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday said China welcomes a recent agreement between Russia and the United States over the issue of Syrian chemical weapons, according to a Foreign Ministry press release.

Wang told visiting French counterpart Laurent Fabius that China also welcomes the Syrian government's decision to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The explosive situation in Syria is easing and the prospect of settlement of the Syria's chemical weapons issue through peaceful methods is opening up, according to Wang.

China hopes the settlement process of the Syria issue will be brought into the United Nations framework as soon as possible, the minister said, adding that the UN Security Council should play an important role.

China also expects the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will conduct work with an attitude of neutrality, objectivity, impartiality and professionalism with the international support, Wang said.

A political resolution is the only realistic way to solve the Syria issue, he stressed, adding that the political resolution process should be pushed forward together with the destruction of the chemical weapons.

Military means cannot solve the issue, said the minister.

Wang urged an immediate cease-fire to create conditions for destruction of the chemical weapons and an early convening of the second international conference on Syria in Geneva.

Fabius said the Russia-US deal is a significant progress and called on all sides to accelerate the settlement process, according to the press release.

The UN Security Council should play a greater role, he said.

The minister said that France is ready to strengthen communication and coordination with China.

After three days of intense negotiations, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov reached agreement Saturday on a framework to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons by mid-2014 and impose UN penalties if the Bashar al-Assad government fails to comply.

According to the framework, Syria must submit a "comprehensive listing" of its chemical weapons stockpiles within one week, and weapons inspectors must be on the ground in Syria by November.