FM hails US-Russia deal
Updated: 2013-09-16 00:15
By Pu Zhendong in Beijing and Li Xiang in Paris (China Daily)
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right ) shakes hands with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius before their meeting at the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing on Sunday. Wang welcomed the deal between the US and Russia to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, which headed off the prospect of US strikes against Syria. Wang Zhao / Agence France-Presse
Beijing welcomes the Russian-US agreement on the disposal of Syria's chemical weapons and called for simultaneous efforts from all parties to bring about a political resolution, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday.
"The agreement has eased the tension in Syria and opened the door for a peaceful resolution of the crisis," Wang said in a meeting with his visiting French counterpart Laurent Fabius in Beijing.
Speaking positively about Syria's decision to join the United Nations Chemical Weapons Convention, Wang said the UN Security Council should play an important role in the process.
"The investigation, meanwhile, carried out by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, should be neutral, objective, fair and professional," he said.
Wang also called for an immediate end to fighting in Syria to create the necessary conditions for the second international conference on the Syrian issue in Geneva.
The US-Russian agreement was reached in Geneva on Saturday after three days of talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The pact requires the Assad administration to account for its chemical weapons arsenal within a week and bring it under international control by mid-2014. It stipulates sanctions if Damascus fails to comply, although details are not given.
Calling the Russia-US agreement an important and positive development, Fabius urged all parties involved, especially the UN, to seize the opportunity to promote a political solution, adding that France will strengthen communication and coordination with China.
Analysts said Fabius' visit indicated a growing expectation on the part of the international community that China will play a greater role in finding a peaceful solution to the crisis.
"The international community is paying increasing attention to China's stance and response to the development of the Syrian crisis, which is one of the reasons behind Fabius' visit," said Dong Manyuan, deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies.
"China's position has been consistent and has positively pushed forward the development of the issue toward a peaceful solution," Dong said.
"Although many difficulties still exist in the political resolution of the issue, China is determined to push for a peaceful settlement and the exclusion of any military threat," he added.
Fabius will meet Kerry and British Foreign Secretary William Hague in Paris on Monday to discuss the content and implementation of the agreement.