China won’t commit to Friends of Syria meeting

BEJING – China on Tuesday refused to commit to attend an international conference in Tunis this week after Russia said it would boycott the meeting aimed at seeking political change in Syria.

The Friends of Syria group will meet for the first time on Friday after being created in response to a joint veto by China and Russia of a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning a bloody crackdown on protests in Syria.

The group is backed by members of the European Union as well as some Arab nations and the United States. ‘China has received the relevant invitation,’ Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a regular briefing.

‘The Chinese side is currently researching the function, mechanism and other aspects of the meeting.’ Russia said on Tuesday it would not attend because the meeting only supported the Syrian opposition’s cause, meaning ‘the interests of the majority of the Syrian population, which supports the authorities, will not be represented’.

Source: Strait Times

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