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Syria will uphold its cease-fire commitments: FM

Updated: 2012-04-19 08:16
By Cheng Guangjin and Zhao Shengnan ( China Daily)

The Syrian government will live up to its cease-fire and troop withdrawal commitments, and will cooperate with United Nations observers, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem said on Wednesday during a working visit to China.

Mualem said he has held "constructive talks" with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, and the two sides "hold similar stances" on resolving the Syrian crisis.

The Syrian government supports the cease-fire plan and six-point proposal laid out by Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria, and welcomes the UN observation group to inspect the implementation of the cease-fire in the country, he said.

Yang expressed hope that the Syrian government will continue to observe the six-point proposal put forth by Annan and actively cooperate with Annan in his mediation work, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

Yang said he hoped that the Syrian government will fulfill its commitment to the cease-fire and troop withdrawal.

He also said he hoped the Syrian government will implement the UN Security Council's resolution regarding the sending of an advance team of monitors, cooperate with the deployment of the cease-fire mechanism and launch a process of inclusive political dialogue and reform in a bid to push for an impartial, peaceful and appropriate resolution of the Syrian issue.

China hopes that the opposition factions in Syria will also fulfill their commitments and implement the six-point proposal put forth by Annan, said Yang.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said earlier that Syrian opposition leaders would visit China in the near future.

Mualem expressed appreciation to China for its consistent, objective and impartial stance on, and its efforts in, seeking a political resolution to the Syrian issue.

He said the Syrian government will cooperate with the special envoy in his mediation efforts, observe and carry out the six-point proposal, live up to the commitments of a cease-fire and troop withdrawal, and cooperate with the UN observers.

The five-member advance team of UN observers arrived in Damascus on Sunday to monitor the implementation of the cease-fire brokered by Annan.

The advance team will be followed by other batches of observers, and the total number of monitors may eventually reach 250. The cease-fire took effect on April 12.

The Associated Press reported that Syrian troops pounded a rebel stronghold on Wednesday, adding to violence in Homs and other cities.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has invited several of his fellow foreign ministers to talks in Paris on Thursday, which US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to attend, on ways to increase pressure on Syria, said the AFP.

Mualem told reporters the Syrian government faces difficulties from political pressure, economic sanctions by Western countries and provocations by armed terrorists in the country.

Russia on Wednesday accused the armed opposition in Syria of trying to provoke violence that could involve foreign powers and said it saw nothing standing in the way of dialogue, the AFP reported.

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