Monday, April 09, 2012

China calls on Syria to honour ceasefire commitment

BEIJING: China on Monday urged Syria to honour its ceasefire commitment, after Damascus said it wanted guarantees from armed rebels before it pulled back its troops from protest hubs.

Under a peace deal brokered by former UN chief Kofi Annan, the Syrian army was scheduled to withdraw from protest cities on Tuesday, with a complete end to fighting set for 48 hours later.

But the Damascus regime has since said it would only carry out its side of the bargain if rebels first handed over written guarantees to stop fighting, a demand rejected by rebel army chief Colonel Riyadh al-Asaad.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin called on both sides in the bloody, year-long conflict to honour their commitments, and said the international community should "be patient" and give Annan more time.

"China urges the Syrian government and parties concerned in Syria to seize the important opportunities, to honour their commitment of ceasefire and withdrawal of troops," said Liu at a regular briefing.

Annan's plan calls for a commitment to stop all armed violence, a daily two-hour humanitarian ceasefire and media access to all areas affected by the fighting in Syria, which has killed almost 10,000 people.

It also calls for an inclusive Syrian-led political process, a right to demonstrate, and the release of people detained arbitrarily.

China gave its seal of approval to the Annan deal late last month after drawing international criticism for vetoing two UN Security Council resolutions on the crisis in Syria.

View the original article here

Source From Channel News Asia

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