China welcomes Arab League plan for Syria

BEIJING - China welcomed an Arab League plan aimed at ending a violent crackdown on protesters in Syria on Thursday, calling it an important step towards speeding up Damascus's promises of reform.
The Arab League said on Wednesday the Syrian government had approved an Arab League plan for dialogue with the opposition and steps to end seven months of bloodshed.
Syria agreed to a halt to violence, the release of prisoners, removal of the military presence from cities and residential areas and allowing the Arab League and media access to report.
"We believe this marks an important step towards easing the situation in Syria and the early launching of an inclusive political process with broad participation from all parties in Syria," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.
"We hope all parties in Syria can make practical efforts to stop violence and create conditions to solve the issue through dialogue and consultation."
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