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Wang Yi Attends Geneva II Conference on The Syrian Issue

On January 22, 2014, Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the Geneva II Conference on the Syrian issue in Montreux, Switzerland. At the conference, Wang Yi expounded on China's position and proposition on promoting a political settlement of the Syrian issue.

Wang Yi said that today, the whole world is looking at Montreux. All peace-loving people want this meeting to be a milestone and a new starting point in the history of Syria. We are all expecting Syria to embark on a new journey and become a stable, prosperous and dignified member of the international community.

Wang Yi said that acting from Syria's national destiny and the overall interests of the Syrian people, efforts to resolve the issue of Syria brook no delay. What is urgent now is to end hostilities and violence to create the necessary environment for peace talks. At the same time, all parties in Syria should summon up the political will to make the political decisions, keep to the direction of political settlement and draw on useful experience from elsewhere to find a "middle way", keeping in mind Syria's national conditions and accommodating the interests of all parties. The international community should provide constructive help to the two parties in Syria so that they will find this "middle way", and bring into full play the UN's role as the main channel of mediation, including suggesting ways to better promote reconciliation. But the international community must avoid imposing any political solution from the outside.

Wang Yi pointed out that it is not easy for the parties in Syria to sit down at the negotiation table. This hard-won opportunity should be cherished and negotiations must be pursued relentlessly. The negotiations will be painstaking and tortuous for sure. That is why confidence, patience and perseverance are essential. Compromise, mutual accommodation and meeting each other half way are of vital importance for moving forward. As long as the parties try to seek common ground while shelving differences and move forward hand in hand, there is no gap that cannot be bridged. Together, we will unlock the door to a political settlement of the Syrian issue.

Wang Yi said that China is here for peace and reconciliation. We are committed to promoting peace talks and a political settlement. We have always adopted an even-handed and balanced position without being partial to any particular party. We respect and support any proposal for political settlement as long as it's generally acceptable to all the parties in Syria. To facilitate a political settlement of the Syrian issue, we have proposed five principles: first, the issue must be resolved through political means; second, the future of Syria must be decided by its own people; third, an inclusive political transition process must be promoted; fourth, national reconciliation and unity must be achieved; fifth, humanitarian assistance must be kept on. To practice the peaceful settlement of the Syrian issue, we have actively supported and participated in the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria. To alleviate the sufferings of the Syrian people, we have provided humanitarian assistance to Syria and its neighbouring countries. China will continue to work together with the international community to push for a political settlement of the Syrian issue as soon as possible.

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