Syrian envoy arrives in China for four-day visit

2013-02-05 03:22:57 GMT2013-02-05 11:22:57(Beijing Time)  SINA.com
Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal Muqdad Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal Muqdad

Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal Muqdad arrived in Beijing for a four-day visit yesterday, after Syria's opposition offered to hold talks with the Damascus government to end its long conflict.

Muqdad is expected to meet Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi during his trip, which will end on Thursday.

"The visit is part of China's efforts to push for a political resolution of the Syria issue," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a press briefing.

Syria's foreign minister, Walid Muallem, visited China last April when FM Yang called on Damascus to embark on a process of inclusive political dialogue and reform.

Syria defence minister: Army will beat rebels

Syria's defence minister said on Monday that the army would succeed against rebels trying to overthrow president Bashar al-Assad, and hinted that Syria would not respond to an Israeli airstrike near Damascus last week.

"This heroic Syrian Arab army proved to the world that it is a strong army, a trained army, an army that cannot be broken," Fahed al-Freij told state television.

He portrayed the air raid as a response to the failure of the rebels, who he described as "tools" of Israel.

Diplomats and security sources have said the strike targeted a convoy of weapons destined for Hezbollah in neighbouring Lebanon. But Syria has said Israeli planes struck a military research centre at Jamraya, northwest of Damascus.

"Why does Syria not respond? It's the Israeli enemy which responded ... When the Israeli enemy saw that its tools were being pursued, and they did not achieve their results, it intervened," Freij said.

"It is a response to our military work against the armed gangs," he added, referring to the rebels.

(Agencies)

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Editor: Mei Jingya
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