Chinese envoy to meet Syria's Assad after UN condemnation

By REUTERS
February 18, 2012 03:40

AMMAN/BEIRUT - Syrian government forces, disregarding UN condemnation, renewed their bombardment of the opposition stronghold of Homs as a Chinese minister arrived for talks with embattled President Bashar Assad on Saturday.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun arrived in Damascus after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution telling the increasingly isolated president to halt the crackdown and surrender power.

China, along with Russia, had voted against the motion and says Syria must be allowed to resolve its problems without being dictated terms by foreign powers.

Zhai said before leaving for Damascus: "China does not approve of the use of force to interfere in Syria or the forceful pushing of a so-called regime change."

China's embassy in Damascus said Zhai would meet his Syrian counterpart on Friday night, hold talks with Assad on Saturday and also meet opposition figures in Damascus.


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