China on Wednesday called for an immediate ceasefire in Syria as a deadline underlined by the UN Security Council nears.
“Again, China calls on the Syrian government to respond to [Kofi] Annan’s six-point proposal and grasp the opportunity to fulfill its promises of troop withdrawal and ceasefire fully and immediately before the deadline, with the actions that it has taken,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a regular press briefing, urging the Syrian government to make more efforts to ease current tensions and push ahead with the political resolution process.
The six-point proposal put forward by Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary general now acting as an envoy to Syria for the UN and the Arab League, has set April 10 as the deadline for troop withdrawal and April 12 as the deadline for a complete ceasefire between the Syrian army and rebels.
On March 21, the UN Security Council adopted a presidential statement to endorse Annan’s proposal.
“Meanwhile, opposition groups in Syria should also cease fire immediately and take concrete measures to implement Annan’s six-point proposal,” said the Chinese spokesman.
Liu said that Annan’s proactive efforts to realize a full ceasefire have offered a “rare” opportunity to resolve the Syrian crisis, which broke out in March 2011.
The Chinese side is “deeply concerned with” the ongoing violence and conflict that continue to cause more and more casualties in Syria despite the nearing deadline, Liu said.
The Syria issue is highly complicated and it is not easy to secure a political resolution, said the spokesman, adding that Annan’s mediation efforts are a feasible path to a political resolution to the crisis.
“The Chinese side has always been persuading Syria in its own way,” said the spokesman, adding that all other parties in the international community should also remain patient and work harder to support Annan’s mediation efforts.
“The Chinese side will continue its firm support for Annan, the envoy, in his mediation efforts to push ahead with a political resolution to the Syria issue,” he added.