BRICs Stand on Syria is “Balanced”

BRICS stand on Syria is “balanced”: Syrian envoy
April 11, 2017, 6:45 am

BRICS leaders at the 8th BRICS Summit in Goa, India on 16 October 2016 [Image: BRICS2016]

Even as the Group of Seven major global powers meet on Tuesday in a push to isolate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Damascus has praised the “balanced stand” of the BRICS countries on the ongoing crisis.

“We are relaxed and happy with India’s stand from the beginning of the Syrian crisis. India’s stand was balanced as other BRICS nations.” Riad Abbas, ambassador of the Syrian Arab Republic in India, said at a press conference in New Delhi on Monday.

“I will meet Indian officials in a day or two and brief them on what happened in Khan Sheikhoun,” Abbas added.

While Britain and Canada said sanctions could be tightened on Moscow if it continued to back Assad, BRICS member China has struck a note of caution.

Beijing supports an independent and comprehensive investigation by UN agencies into the suspected use of chemical weapons, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying stressed on the urgency of preventing the situation in Syria from deteriorating.

She was asked to respond to a statement made by British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon.

Fallon on Sunday accused Russia of being “responsible” by proxy for the deaths of civilians last week in a suspected chemical weapons attack.

Relevant countries, as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, should play a role in maintaining international peace and security, Chinese spokesperson Hua said.

The future of Syria must be decided by its own people, Hua said, adding that the international community should respect the Syrian people’s choice in this regard while stressing against the use of “outside force”.

“China is willing to work with the international community to promote a political settlement in Syria at an early date,” Hua said.

The US is backing rebel fighters against the Syrian government in the protracted civil war.

Meanwhile, an AP report quoted a senior US official alleging that Russia knew in advance of Syria’s chemical weapons attack last week.

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