China announces it will send envoy to Syria this week

February 16, 2012 09:28

BEIJING - China's Foreign Ministry said it would send a senior diplomat to Syria for talks on Friday, days after Beijing said the United Nations should tread carefully in the country or risk worsening violence in its 11-month crackdown on opposition groups.

China, along with Russia, early this month blocked a draft UN Security Council resolution that backed an Arab plan urging Syrian President Bashar Assad to quit.

Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun will travel to Syria on Friday and Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a regular briefing on Thursday, adding that details for the visit were still being worked out.

The Foreign Ministry said earlier this week that envoy Li Huaxin had an "extremely frank and useful" exchange about the situation in Syria on Monday when he met Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby in Cairo, who had criticized China for its veto

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