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China urges Damascus and opposition forces to resume peace talks

By Wang Qingyun | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-01-05 20:17

China said it hopes the Syrian government and opposition factions "will cherish the hard-earned" UN resolution and resume peace talks as soon as possible, after opponents announced suspension of such talks.

In Beijing on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged Damascus and oppositional forces to follow Resolution 2336, which the UN Security Council adopted on Dec 31, supporting efforts by Russia and Turkey to end Syria's civil war that has lasted for nearly six years.

Russia and Turkey also brokered a ceasefire deal in Syria starting on Dec 30. Peace negotiations are planned to be held in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan.

However, about 10 Syrian opposition factions announced Monday they were suspending talks about the negotiations due to truce "violations" by Damascus, Agence France-Presse reported.

Geng said the Syrian government and the opposing leaders should work together to implement the ceasefire deal, practice more self restraint and reduce mutual accusation.

"We hope both sides in Syria will, according to the UN Security Council resolution, effectively implement their duties, and resume peace talks and restart the political process at the earliest date possible," he said, adding that China will continue to play a constructive role in this regard.

Xie Xiaoyan, China's special envoy on the Syrian issue will visit Geneva, the European Union, Turkey and Russia in an attempt to help resume the political solution process in Syria.

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