Chinese diplomat calls for Syria peace talks

AP News
Posted: Nov 04, 2016 7:25 AM

BEIJING (AP) — A senior Chinese diplomat says China will expand its involvement in efforts to end the fighting in Syria but limit its direct participation to providing humanitarian aid.

Special envoy to Syria Xie Xiaoyuan said in Beijing that meetings earlier this year between Syrian and Chinese military officials were part of normal military exchanges that were focused on humanitarian issues.

Xie on Friday urged parties to the civil war including the United States and Russia to advance peace talks, while describing Russia's military offensive in Aleppo as a legitimate campaign against terror targets.

Syria is the latest conflict in which China has shown a desire to play a more active diplomatic role. China has diplomatically backed Russia in United Nations settlement talks but ruled out military engagement itself.