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UNITED NATIONS - The UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman said Tuesday that China's new four-point proposal on Syria is welcomed as a contribution to moving toward a political solution for Syria.
Feltman told reporters after he briefed the Security Council on the recent situation in Syria that Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League joint special envoy, is welcoming all contributions made by the states with real influence in the UN and on the ground in Syria.
"In that context, Lakhdar Brahimi, and those of us within the Secretariat certainly welcome the Chinese four-point proposal as contributing to our collective thinking on how best to use our influence to move toward a political solution for Syria," he said.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi made the proposal during his meeting with Brahimi in Beijing on Oct 31 when Brahimi visited China for the first time since he replaced former UN chief Kofi Annan as the international mediator on Syria on Sept 1.
The new proposal has four major aspects including halting fighting and violence, asking Syria to appoint empowered interlocutors to formulate through consultations a roadmap of political transition, calling on international community to support Brahimi's mediation efforts and taking concrete steps to ease humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Feltman said that the situation inside Syria is turning grimmer every day, and the risk that the crisis could explode outward is growing.
"Clearly, there is a need to shift away from the military logic that is prevailing at the moment," he said. "The solution must be arrived at through a political process" which has to be a Syrian-led process and cannot be imposed.
Feltman also added that Brahimi has signaled that the Geneva Action group communique should be an important building block of his plan.
"We continue to hope that the Security Council can come together and act in a unified fashion on Syria, as this would be critical to any peace effort. Without this, our chances for success are far more limited," said Feltman.
Despite international diplomatic efforts to ease the 19-month-long turmoil, Syrian government troops and opposition continue to trade fire unabatingly.
The UN estimated that more than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, have reportedly died in Syria since the country's crisis broke out in March 2011.