XI Jinping: Political solution 'only right way out' of Syrian crisis

Sept. 9, 2013 at 7:10 AM
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TASHKENT, Uzbekistan, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Chinese leader Xi Jinping told U.S. President Obama a political solution is "the only right way out" of the Syrian crisis," China's foreign minister said.

Wang Yi, stressing his country's stand on a chemical attack in Syria last month, told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry by telephone the issue should be dealt with under the framework of the U.N. Security Council, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Wang, accompanying Xi on a state visit to Uzbekistan Sunday, quoted the Chinese president as telling Obama during the G20 Summit in Russia last week that a military strike "cannot solve the problem" and "a political solution is the only right way out for the Syria crisis," Xinhua reported.

"We expect certain countries to have a second thought before action," Xi said.

China, Russia, the United States, Britain and France are veto-wielding permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. China and Russia have consistently used their veto powers to prevent any kind of sanctions against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and have opposed any military action against the regime, which the United States says was responsible for an Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus in which hundreds of people died.

The international community should adhere to the basic norms in international relations and reject any use of chemical weapons, Wang said.

The issue should be handled within the framework of the United Nations, he said.

Wang said China and the United States, as permanent members, should take the lead in upholding the U.N. charter and give full play to the U.N.'s role in safeguarding international peace and security.

Ben Rhodes, U.S. deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, said at the end of the G20 Friday President Obama had "underscored the very high confidence that we have that the Assad regime was responsible for the chemical weapons attack" and the importance of continuing to work through the United Nations "but also the paralysis that has existed in the Security Council on the issue of Syria ... ."

Rhodes said the United States obviously had a difference with China on the Syrian issue.

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