French minister to visit Beijing over Syria

Syria will be under discussion in Beijing on Sunday as the French foreign minister seeks diplomatic support for his country's stance on the confilict

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 September, 2013, 9:57am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 September, 2013, 10:01am


French foreign minister Laurent Fabius will visit China to discuss Syria on Sunday, his ministry said, amid ongoing diplomatic efforts to end the crisis in the war-torn country.

On his way back to Paris, Fabius will hold talks on Tuesday with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Philippe Lalliot, a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Continuing the diplomatic drive to end the civil war in Syria, which has claimed more than 110,000 lives, French President Francois Hollande will on Friday meet the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, his office said.

France has been one of the closest allies of the United States in urging military action in response to a chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus on August 21 blamed by Washington and others on the Syrian government.

In contrast, both China and Russia have consistently blocked resolutions at the United Nations Security Council to sanction the Syrian regime.