Q: The Syrian Government announced that it would adopt a full ceasefire at 6 am local time on April 12 and withdraw troops from some cities and towns. How does China comment? What role has China played in the process of making this decision by the Syrian Government?
A: China welcomes relevant decision made by the Syrian Government, which is conducive to relaxing tensions in Syria. It is an important step toward the political settlement of the Syrian issue, and also represents major progress in the mediation efforts of the UN-AL Special Envoy Annan on the Syrian crisis. We hope the Syrian government will earnestly honor its pledges, continue to support and cooperate with the mediation efforts of Annan with concrete actions to uphold the political settlement of the issue. At the same time, China also calls on the Syrian opposition to cease fire immediately and implement Annan's six-point proposal.
In order to ease tensions and push forward the political settlement process, China has been engaging the Syrian Government and other parties in Syria in its own way. We have maintained communication with Special Envoy Annan and given him full support in his mediation. Not long ago, in a letter to the Syrian Foreign Minister, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi positively commented on the Syrian side's decision of ceasefire and troop withdrawal, expressed the hope that the Syrian side would earnestly honor its pledges, support and cooperate with Annan's mediation with concrete actions and uphold the political resolution process. Relevant officials of the Chinese Foreign Ministry met with Syrian Ambassador to China and reiterated the pressing need for Syria to implement Annan's six-point proposal, seize the rare opportunity, and timely and fully honor its pledges of ceasefire and troop withdrawal. The Chinese Embassy in Syria and Permanent Mission to the UN also worked on the Syrian side on many occasions regarding the implementation of its pledges of ceasefire and troop withdrawal. We have also maintained communication with the Syrian opposition, calling on it to immediately cease fire and implement Annan's proposal. China has also stayed in contact with relevant parties such as regional countries, the Arab League and Russia on the political resolution of the Syrian issue. What China has done is effective. At the next stage, China will work with other parties concerned to continue to actively support Annan's mediation for the political settlement of the Syrian issue, maintain communication and coordination with relevant parties in a bid to play a constructive role for the fair, peaceful and proper settlement of the Syrian issue at an early date.