21 Sep 2017 18:42

China ready to consider proposal to become observer at Astana talks - envoy for Syria

MOSCOW. Sept 21 (Interfax) - China has not yet received a formal invitation to join the Astana process on Syria as an observer but is open to such a proposal, Chinese special envoy for Syria Xie Xiaoyan said.

"It hasn't yet happened but we saw media reports saying that some high-ranking Russian diplomats had come forward with such a proposal, saying that new observers might be invited," Xie Xiaoyan told a press conference in Moscow.

"China is open to any proposals that help promote the peace process. [...] If such a proposal [to take part in the Astana talks as an observer] comes officially, the response will be positive," he said.

Xie Xiaoyan noted that Russia and China were successfully interacting on the Syrian issue, adding that Beijing was ready to continue the dialogue on various grounds in Moscow, Geneva and New York (on the United Nations grounds). One can suggest that the Russia-China contacts on the Syrian settlement are intense based on the fact that he has visited Moscow for the third time this year, Xiaoyan added.