China supports US-Russia deal on Syria
Updated: 2013-09-18 10:47
A Syrian refugee boy practices Taekwondo at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan on Tuesday. Children make up a majority of the camp, home to 120,000 Syrians who fled their country. Bela Szandelszky / Associated Press
Dozens of Syrians staged a sit-in on Tuesday before the Syrian Cabinet building in Damascus to express support for the recent Russian initiative to strip Syria of its chemical arsenal.
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"As Syrian people, we welcome the international decision to place the chemical weapons under (international) observation, because since the beginning of the crisis in Syria, we have been against the use of chemical weapons," Majdoline, a Syrian woman, told Xinhua News Agency during the sit-in.
Samir Batrony, a Syrian lawyer taking part in the sit-in, said, "The aggression is being demolished, the conspiracy is falling apart and Syria will not succumb."
Other participants hoisted the Syrian flag along with posters of President Bashar al-Assad and the late Egyptian leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, a symbol of pan-Arabism in the Arab world.
The sit-in came a day after the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed the Security Council on a report from a fact-finding group looking into alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria on Aug 21.
The report confirmed that chemical weapons were used in Ghouta, Syria, without assigning blame to any particular party.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Tuesday that China appreciates the UN report and will study it carefully.
"China attaches great importance to the UN report," Hong said.
Hong said China's stance on the use of chemical weapons is consistent and clear.
"China opposes any use of chemical weapons and strongly condemns the use of chemical weapons in Syria," he said, noting that China supports the UN fact-finding group in continuing its work in Syria.
He said China welcomes the framework agreement reached by the United States and Russia on Saturday to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.Hong also said China supports the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria within the UN framework and hopes that the political settlement process will be pushed forward at the same time.
Syria's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that talks about the political and constitutional legitimacy in Syria is an "exclusive" right of the Syrian people.