UN peace envoy to visit Beijing
Updated: 2012-10-30 08:35
By Cheng Guangjin (China Daily)
United Nations-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Tuesday for a two-day visit as airstrikes continued in Syria despite a UN-brokered truce.
Brahimi is expected to have "in-depth communication" with the Chinese side to promote a political solution to the Syrian crisis, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Monday.
There were 34 air raids across Syria over three hours on Monday morning, the heaviest airstrikes since warplanes were first deployed over the summer, AFP reported.
A car bombing killed at least 10 people in the predominantly Christian and Druze area of Jaramana, near Damascus, on the same day, according to AFP.
Brahimi visited Syria last week to push for a cease-fire during the four-day Muslim Eid al-Adha festival, which began on Oct 26. But violence continued during the holiday, resulting in more casualties.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday during prepared remarks in South Korea that the UN is trying to ease Syria's humanitarian woes and find a political solution to the crisis, The Associated Press reported.
Ban said fighting in Syria must stop immediately, and other countries and the UN need to do more to help.
Brahimi told reporters after talks on Monday in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that there was no immediate plan to send UN peacekeepers to the Middle East country, Reuters reported.
Brahimi expressed regret that the UN-brokered truce had not been more successful in Syria but said he will not let this dampen his peace efforts, according to Reuters.
China appreciates and supports Brahimi's mediation efforts to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis, Hong said.
"It proves that only political means, rather than the use of force, can realize the impartial, peaceful and proper resolution of the Syrian conflict," Hong said at a regular news conference.
An Huihou, an expert at the China Foundation for International Studies, agreed. "A political solution will reduce casualties and costs, prevent the chaos from spreading to its neighbors and create a good foundation for postwar reconstruction. This is the best way to serve the interests of the Syrian people," he said.
Meanwhile, a Chinese newspaper reported on Monday that Islamic separatists from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in Northwest China are aiding al-Qaida in its battle against the Syrian government.
Members of separatists groups, including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, have been traveling to Syria since May to assist al-Qaida with kidnapping and gun- and drug-running operations in Syria, reported the Global Times, citing an official with China's anti-terrorism authorities.
By participating in operations overseas, the separatist groups aim to "train their personnel" and get "recognized and supported" by international terrorist forces, said Li Wei, a researcher at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
"China objects to all forms of terrorism. A strengthened connection between the Eastern Turkestan terrorist forces, headed by the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, with international terrorist forces will not only seriously harm China's national security, but also constitutes a threat to peace and stability in other countries," said Hong, the spokesman.
"The international community should be on high alert over this and further enhance cooperation to fight terrorist groups, including the Eastern Turkestan terrorist forces," Hong urged.