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DAMASCUS/GENEVA/SEOUL - Syria has formally responded to the six-point peace plan mapped by the UN-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan, who is due to visit China on the Syria crisis on Tuesday.
"The Syrian government has formally responded to the Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan's six-point plan, as endorsed by the UN Security Council. Mr Annan is studying it and will respond very shortly," Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in Geneva, giving no further details.
Annan put forward a six-point plan to end the violence in Syria, which includes proposals for a cease-fire initiated by the Syrian government, a daily halt in fighting for the delivery of humanitarian aid and treatment for the wounded, and talks between the government and opposition.
After securing support of Russia on his peacemaking efforts, Annan is expected to discuss the Syrian conflict with Chinese leaders and officials in Beijing on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Chinese President Hu Jintao said Monday in a meeting with US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, that China takes an objective and just position and a responsible attitude on the Syria issue.
He said China has urged the Syrian government and relevant parties to immediately stop violence, start dialogue, speed up reform, and actively support relevant mediation efforts aimed at seeking a political solution to the crisis.
China stands ready to stay in close communication with the United States and play a constructive role in resolving the current crisis at an early date, said Hu.
With regard to the second "Friends of Syria" meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Monday that, under the current situation, China has not considered attending it.
"We think actions taken by the international community with regard to Syria should help ease the situation there, promote political dialogue, resolve disputes and maintain peace and stability in the Middle East," Hong said.
He added that the resolution of the Syria issue requires the participation of, and dialogue between, major parties involved, and the international community should create favorable conditions for that.
China will continue to work with all sides and play an active and constructive role in finding a peaceful and proper resolution to the Syria issue, the spokesman said.
Earlier, Hong said China values and supports Annan's mediation efforts and hopes to thoroughly discuss political solutions to the Syria crisis during his visit and work with him to play a constructive role in ending the conflict there in a fair, peaceful and appropriate way.
On the eve of the Arab League summit, Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said the summit is expected to endorse Annan's six-point peace proposal and will not call on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down at the summit, but will support Syrian-led transfer of power.
Zebari said, "There has to be a political solution, fundamental constitutional and political changes for transfer of power in Syria but through a Syrian-led process with the help of the international community, (like) to have an election under international monitoring."
In Syria, its security forces are still battling armed groups. Syria's SANA news agency reported on Monday that government troops had foiled an attempt by a group of armed infiltrators trying to enter across the Turkish border.
It said an unknown number of the armed men were killed and injured.
According to SANA, soldiers have killed "six of the most dangerous wanted terrorists" in a raid in the southern province of Daraa, and they also thwarted an attempt to blow up the al-Najih Bridge on the Damascus-Daraa highway.