April 28, 2011 / 8:58 AM / 9 years ago

China says Syria should solve problems itself through talks

BEIJING, April 28 (Reuters) - China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Syria should resolve the problems facing it itself via talks, explaining why Beijing did not sign off on a European push for the U.N. Security Council to condemn violence there.

Envoys said that resistance from Russia, China and Lebanon was behind the failure of the Security Council to condemn Syria’s violent crackdown on anti-government protesters. [ID:nN27176604]

Instead, Western countries called a public debate on Syria, but the meeting highlighted differences in the 15-nation council, with Russia charging that it was outside interference in Arab countries that could be a threat to peace.

“The different sides could not come up with a consensus. China participated in the talks with a constructive attitude,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular news briefing in Beijing.

“We believe that all sides in Syria should resolve their differences through political dialogue, appropriately deal with the present crisis, maintain national stability and normal order,” Hong added, without elaborating.

Apart from criticising the Western air campaign against the forces of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s government, China has kept a relatively modest profile in the tumult across the Middle East and north Africa.

Analysts have said that Beijing will carefully foster ties and trade with new governments across the region, while being sure to present itself as a steadfast friend, and oil customer, of governments that ride out the unrest. [ID:nTOE71N06E]

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will go to Egypt next month in a show of support, marking Beijing’s first big diplomatic foray into building ties with new governments emerging from upheaval across the Arab world. [ID:nL3E7FQ163] (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Alex Richardson)

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