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China supports removal of Syria chemical weapons

Updated: 2014-01-09 08:31
( Xinhua)

UNITED NATIONS - China has been supporting the work of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to safely remove materials of chemical weapons from Syria, a Chinese envoy said here Wednesday.

"There has been new development in the shipping out chemical weapons material from Syria. China has been supportive in the process," Liu Jieyi, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, told reporters after the UN Security Council met behind closed doors to discuss the issue.

"We have sent a naval ship to escort the safe transport of these chemical weapons material for destruction," Liu said. "China has also provided expertise to OPCW."

"We have provided necessary equipment to the joint UN-OPCW mission to facilitate the transport and destruction of the chemical weapons in Syria."

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in September last year calling for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.

The first consignment of chemical weapons material left Syria Tuesday aboard a Danish vessel accompanied by naval escorts provided by China, Denmark, Norway and Russia.

While noting the cooperation from the Syrian government, Liu said "the situation remains volatile on the ground" and "there is still an enormous challenge posed to the process of destroying chemical weapons by the security situation and fighting in Syria."

"We do hope that relevant sides will create an enabling environment for meeting the timetable as provided in the Security Council resolution for the destruction of chemical weapons," said Liu.

In his statement, the Chinese envoy also called on all relevant sides to adhere to the date of the Geneva II conference, to be held later this month in Switzerland, saying that "we don't see any other alternatives to the solution of the Syrian issue other than this political process."

Liu also urged warring parties in Syria to "cease hostilities, fighting and violence on the ground so as to pave the way for a fruitful and effective process driven by the Syrian people, with view to achieving results."

Around 30 nations are going to attend the January 22 conference in the city of Montreux, Switzerland, and the actual negotiations between the government and the opposition are scheduled to start two days later in Geneva, also in Switzerland.

The Geneva II conference aims to bring delegations of the Syrian government and opposition to a negotiating table in order to end their conflict and launch a political transition process through the full implementation of the Geneva Communique produced on June 30, 2012.

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