Remarks by Minister-Counselor Sun Zhiqiang at the UN Security Council Briefing on Syria

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December 21, 2023

Mr. President,

I thank Special Envoy Geir Pedersen and Director Lisa Doughten for their briefings.

Currently, the neighboring environment of Syria continues to deteriorate, and the spillover risks of the Palestinian-Israeli situation continues to accumulate, which have had some complex impact on the situation in Syria. Recently, multiple locations in Syria, including the Damascus airport, suffered frequent airstrikes. China is deeply concerned about this. We call upon all relevant parties to stay calm and exercise restraint, refrain from any actions that may escalate tensions, and spare no effort to reduce the risks for regional security. The international community, in particular major countries, should play a constructive role in preventing the spread of the conflict. The urgent priority is to stop all illegal military operations in Syria and end illegal military presence in the country.

Political settlement is the fundamental way out for the Syrian issue. China supports the Syrian-led and Syrian-own political process and calls upon all Syrian parties to enhance dialogue and work for substantive progress in the work of the Constitutional Committee. We welcome the extensive engagement by Special Envoy Pedersen with all parties on the implementation of Resolution 2254, and expect Arab countries to step up coordination and facilitate the political settlement of the Syrian issue.

The counter-terrorism situation in Syria remains complex and dire. We support the Syrian Government in taking necessary measures to combat terrorism and safeguard the country’s security and stability and in strengthening counter-terrorism capacity building. The international community should fight all terrorism in Syria with zero tolerance.

Mr. President,

China has always supported the UN in maintaining positive interactions with the Syrian Government and effectively implementing the new arrangement for cross-border humanitarian assistance on the basis of fully respecting Syria’s sovereignty and the ownership of the Syrian Government. In recent years, humanitarian funding for Syria has continued to decline, over which we have expressed concerns multiple times. The relevant donors should earnestly fulfill their commitments and effectively meet the humanitarian needs of the Syrian people. It needs to be pointed out that unilateral sanctions and resource plundering have long hindered the recovery and development of Syria’s economy and society and aggravated the humanitarian challenges facing the country. We urge the relevant parties to immediately and unconditionally end these illegal actions.

Thank you, President.


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