China not to attend upcoming Syria meeting

File photo: "Friends of Syria" meeting.

China has received an invitation but does not plan to attend the upcoming “Friends of Syria” meeting, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

France invited China to the meeting, scheduled for Friday in Paris, Liu Weimin said at a daily news briefing in response to a question on China’s approach to the forum.

“At this point, we do not plan to attend the meeting,” he said.

“We believe that it’s a key phase now for resolving the Syrian issues politically,” the spokesman added, urging the international community to focus on implementing the consensus reached at the Geneva meeting, a ministerial-level meeting of the Action Group on Syria.

All sides concerned need to make joint efforts on the matter, he said.

The Geneva meeting on June 30 gathered foreign ministers of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members along with Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, plus representatives of the UN, the Arab League and the European Union.

The foreign ministers agreed that a transitional government should be set up in Syria to end the 16-month-long conflict but did not stipulate the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.

Friday will see the third Friends of Syria meeting this year. China didn’t attend the first two — held in Tunisia in February and Turkey in April.

Xinhua