China 'ready to help' in Syria arms destruction

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 September, 2013, 3:22am

Foreign Minister Wang Yi told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that China was willing to send experts to help in the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons, and reiterated that a political solution was the only way to solve the crisis in Syria.

"Currently, it is important that the UN Security Council should maintain unity, overcome their differences and find a consensus so as to send a signal of unity to the outside," Wang told Ban, China's foreign ministry said yesterday.

Wang said China supported "the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' quick, objective, fair and professional process of starting the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons. China is willing to send experts to participate in the work."

Chinese state media yesterday carried an interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in which he denounced the US, France and Britain for submitting a draft resolution to the UN Security Council to place Syrian chemical weapons under international control.

Assad, interviewed by CCTV in Damascus, said he was not concerned about the draft resolution and that China and Russia would "ensure any excuse for military action against Syria will not stand".

Asked whether Syria had lots of chemical weapons, Assad said: "Syria produced chemical weapons decades ago. The number is not small. We are a country at war. However, the Syrian army mainly fights with conventional weapons."