China says considering sending observers to Syria

By REUTERS
April 19, 2012 10:38

BEIJING - China said on Thursday it was considering sending observers to monitor a week-old truce in Syria that has so far failed to put an end to a year of bloodshed.

China is "seriously studying" the idea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a daily news briefing.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said an expanded UN monitoring mission for Syria would be composed of "an initial deployment" of up to 300 unarmed observers who would supervise a fragile week-old ceasefire between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and opposition fighters seeking to oust him.

Syria has not fully complied with its obligations to withdraw troops and heavy weapons from towns and has yet to send a "clear signal" about its commitment to peace, the UN chief told the Security Council in a letter obtained by Reuters.

But Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem said 250 observers was a "reasonable number", adding they should be from countries such as China, Russia, Brazil, India and South Africa, which Damascus considers are more sympathetic than nations in the West or the Arab League.

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