|Beijing opposes unilateral Syria action, Moscow fears death-knell for Geneva conference
China urged the US not to take unilateral action against Syria in response to last month's chemical weapons attack against civilians.
In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a planned peace conference in Geneva on Syria will be put off for a long time “if not forever'' if the US goes ahead with military action.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Washington had briefed Beijing and was highly concerned about any use of chemical weapons.
But he said China opposed the US acting alone and believed any response must conform to the UN Charter and the basic principles underlying international relations.
“China ... holds the belief that a political resolution is the only realistic way to solve the Syrian issue,'' Hong said in Beijing.
“China is highly concerned about the relevant country's plan on taking unilateral military action,'' Hong said, adding that the international community must “avoid complicating the Syrian issue and dragging the Middle East down into further disaster.
Lavrov said: “If the action announced by the US President [Barack Obama] – to the great regret of all of us – does in fact take place... it will put off the chances of [holding] this conference for a long time, if not forever.’’—AFP