FM: Syria ready to focus on ‘dialogue’

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday that the situation in Syria has reached a new stage focused on political settlement, with anti-terrorism, dialogue and reconstruction as priorities.

Dialogue and negotiation are the only ways to solve the Syrian issue, Wang told Bouthaina Shaaban, political and media adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in Beijing.

Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be safeguarded, and the Syrian people should remain at the core of any political settlement, he said.

Wang also said that the recent intensive interaction among related parties on future political arrangements in Syria will contribute to the United Nations-sponsored Syrian political talks in Geneva.

On Wednesday, the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey expressed support for a comprehensive dialogue on Syria, stressing the ongoing coordination to reduce violence in Syria and provide help for Syrians to restore the unity of the country, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Syria’s Foreign Ministry said it welcomed the outcome of the trilateral talks between the three powers.

Wang said, China hopes Syria will seize the opportunity, show flexibility and push for substantive results from the talks.

Wang called anti-terrorism the foundation, dialogue the way out and reconstruction the guarantee to solve the Syrian issue. He said the fight against terrorism in Syria is ongoing although the international community has achieved important results in anti-terrorism cooperation. Wang called for concerted global efforts to fight the remaining forces of extremist groups.

Only by steadily advancing reconstruction can we give hope to the people and guarantee the long-term stability of Syria, he added.

The international community should pay attention to, and actively support, the reconstruction of Syria, Wang said.

Shaaban agreed with Wang’s proposal, and spoke highly of China’s position. Syria is willing to actively take part in the process of political settlement and welcomed a bigger role by China in this regard, she said.