Syria ready to take part in UN peace talks, minister says

AP News
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Posted: Dec 24, 2015 3:52 AM
Syria ready to take part in UN peace talks, minister says

BEIJING (AP) — Syria is ready to take part in U.N.-organized peace talks and hopes the dialogue will help the country find a solution to the crisis, Syria's foreign minister said Thursday.

The U.N. Security Council last Friday unanimously approved a resolution endorsing a peace process for Syria, including a cease-fire and talks between the Syrian government and the opposition. The U.N. plans to convene talks in Geneva in January.

"Syria is ready to participate in the Syrian-Syrian Dialogue in Geneva without any foreign interference," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told reporters after meeting with his Chinese counterpart in Beijing. "Our delegation will be ready as soon as we receive a list of the opposition delegation."

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China and Syria had agreed on principles for the peace talks.

"We should stick to the peaceful resolution of Syrian issue, the people of Syria should decide the future and fate of Syria, and the U.N. plays a key role in negotiations," Wang said. "We agreed that these three principles should be upheld throughout the whole peace process of Syria."

Wang also announced that China will provide 40 million yuan ($6 million) of humanitarian assistance to Syria.

The Syrian conflict has lasted nearly five years, killed more than 300,000 people and displaced millions.