China announces over $6 m humanitarian aid to Syria

Updated: 2015-12-24 22:14


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BEIJING - China will provide 40 million yuan (6.18 million US dollars) in humanitarian assistance to Syria, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday.

The announcement came after talks between Wang and Walid al-Moallem, Syrian deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, who is in China until Saturday.

"As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, China will continue to promote peace and dialogue in Syria and offer humanitarian aid to the country to the best of its abilities," Wang said during a press conference alongside with al-Moallem.

China and Syria discussed a political solution, reiterating support for the UN's mediation effort and for Syrians deciding their own future, Wang said.

On Dec. 18, the Security Council adopted a resolution on a peace process in Syria, setting early January as the date for talks between the Syrian government and opposition.

The resolution said a nationwide ceasefire will begin as soon as the parties concerned have taken initial steps towards a political transition.

Al-Moallem said Syria was "ready to participate in the Syrian-Syrian dialogue in Geneva without any foreign interference".

"We hope that this dialogue will be successful to help us in having a national unity government," he said.

The International Syria Support Group has met three times since October and in November supported the establishment of a credible, inclusive government in Syria within six months and free and fair elections within 18 months.

"Our delegation will be ready as soon as we receive a list of the opposition delegation," al-Moallem said, adding that Damascus would "compose a constitutional committee to look for a new constitution with a new law of election so the parliamentary election will be held within the period of 18 months, more or less".

Wang said the international community has reached a consensus that the solution to the Syrian issue should a political one,that the future of Syria should be decided by the Syrian people and that the UN should be the main mediator. The top priority, he said, is to start peace talks and stop the violence.

Wang called on the international community to focus on the wishes of the Syrian people for a peaceful life.

Both sides expressed support for fighting terrorism.

Al-Moallem called on the Security Council to block the funding of terrorism and stop terrorists getting into Syria.

Wang said China believes that any and all efforts to combat terrorism should be respected and supported.

Al-Moallem said China may play an important role in promoting the process of the political settlement of the Syrian crisis and in the fight against terrorism.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi also met with al-Moallem Thursday afternoon.