China on Syria: Follow the rules

Updated: 2013-09-03 10:45

By Zhang Yuwei in New York (China Daily)

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The UN investigation team - which arrived on Aug 24 in Damascus - conducted a wide range of fact-finding activities pertaining to the Aug 21 incident in the Ghouta area of Syria.

The inspection team, led by Swedish scientist ke Sellstrm, is now in The Hague's headquarters of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which assisted the probe with the UN World Health Organization.

In a phone conversation with Ban on Sunday, Sellstrm briefed Ban on how to expedite the process of analyzing the samples in accordance with established international standards and regulations, according to a UN press release.

Ban will brief the 10 non-permanent members of the Council on the latest developments Tuesday morning. Kane will also brief UN member states that wrote to Ban requesting the investigation.

Last week, the British Parliament voted against military action against Syria while France - one of the five permanent members on the UN Security Council - and Turkey expressed support for the intervention.

Just a day after Obama vowed to issue a military intervention in Syria seeking Congressional approval (which won't happen before Sept 9 when Congress returns from the recess), US Secretary of State John Kerry said the administration was confident of getting approval.

"We don't contemplate that the Congress is going to vote no," Kerry said, adding that the President had right to take action "no matter what Congress does".

Neumann, who also heads Asymmetrica, a New York-based consultancy in strategies to disrupt transnational threats to global security, said while an early intervention in Syria might have served US interests in the region, "an intervention at this point will do little to serve US interests".

"Getting rid of Assad, however, does little for the civil war that will continue to rage as it evolves into a second stage confrontation between Sunni and Shia, as led by Al Qaeda and Hezbollah," said Neumann.

"And for that, there is little that the US can do, as US involvement will not only have little effect on that confrontation, it might even bring Al Qaeda and Hezbollah together to battle the United States," she added.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

(China Daily USA 09/03/2013 page1)

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