China calls for swift implementation of Syria weapons deal

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before a bilateral meeting at the Department of State in Washington on Sept, 19. (Reuters)

China on Friday called for the quick implementation of a U.S.-Russian deal to destroy Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, voicing hope for a political solution to the crisis.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi, said that China was “firmly opposed to the use of chemical weapons by any country or individual,” Agence France-Presse quoted him as saying.

“We support the early launch of the process to destroy Syria's chemical weapons,” Wang said at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

The foreign minister also called for a second Geneva conference aimed at ending the Syrian conflict “as soon as possible.”

“We believe that a political settlement is the only right way out in defusing the Syrian crisis,” he added.

His remarks came a day after he met with U.S .Secretary of State John Kerry, who urged China to take a “positive, constructive” role on Syria and said that the Pacific powers “disagreed sharply” over the global response to chemical weapons use, AFP reported.

China has welcomed the U.S.-Russian framework which stipulates that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would surrender his chemical weapons to international control.

Syria has given details of its chemical arsenal to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the chemical weapons watchdog said on Friday.

The U.N.-backed agency will oversee the removal of Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile.

The Syrian weapon deal initiated by Russia has temporarily halted U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande’s call to launch a military strike on Syria in response to a chemical attack last month, which killed hundreds of people, according to the United States and Syrian opposition activists.

China has traditionally opposed Western military intervention, but has generally taken a low-key role on Syria than Russia, a longstanding ally of Assad.

(With AFP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 13:51 - GMT 10:51
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