China appoints first Special Envoy for Syrian conflict

Beijing, March 29 (IANS) China on Tuesday appointed its first Special Envoy for the Syrian conflict, marking Beijing’s attempt at increasing its involvement in the peace negotiations and to assert itself as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Xie Xiaoyan, former ambassador to Iran and Ethiopia as well as representative to the African Union, has been appointed to the post, foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said.

“Xie, with a rich understanding of Middle East affairs, will fulfil his mission,” Xinhua news agency quoted Hong as saying.

With the Syrian issue “at a crucial stage for settlement”, China has named the special envoy to better promote dialogue, contribute Chinese wisdom and communicate with other parties to facilitate a proper solution, Hong said.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has played a constructive role in addressing the Syrian issue. China advocates political settlement as the only solution, supports the UN’s leading role and has provided humanitarian aid to Syria and surrounding countries, the spokesperson added.

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