People from Kfra Nubul gather around a car carrying UN monitors as they visit the town on Tuesday. UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan has urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to act now to end 15 months of bloodshed, warning the country has reached a “tipping point” as Western nations ordered out its top diplomats. Photo: AFP
Amid escalating tension on the Syrian crisis ignited by the carnage over the weekend that claimed the lives of more than 100 civilians, China reiterated its opposition to military intervention in the country and regime change by force.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin said at yesterday's press briefing that all relevant parties should fully implement the UN Security Council's resolutions and support UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan's mediation efforts.
"The Syria issue should be solved through political dialogue," Liu said.
Annan yesterday called for unified international efforts to find ways to bring an end to the crisis and killing in Syria, reports said.
The appeal came after French President Francois Hollande suggested military action against Syria as an option.
"A military intervention is not excluded provided it is carried out under the auspices of international law," Hollande told the France 2 broadcaster, saying that Moscow and Beijing were the main obstacles to the adoption of stronger sanctions against the Assad government.
"Hollande just took office and is not familiar with foreign affairs. He expressed his attitude by mentioning military action, which in itself is not a practical choice," said Li Weijian, an expert on Middle East studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies.
"The UN hasn't thought about a resolution on military intervention, and even if there is such a resolution, it might not be supported by all veto-wielding members," he said.
The US objected to the option of military action after expelling Syria's diplomat in Washington Tuesday.
"We do not believe that militarization, further militarization of the situation in Syria at this point is the right course of action," said White House press secretary Jay Carney. "We believe that it would lead to greater chaos, greater carnage."
Gennady Gatilov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, said a review now by the Security Council of any new measures on the situation would be premature, AFP reported.
Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Britain have also expelled Syrian diplomats.
An opposition official alleged that the massacre must be connected to the Syrian army, as it has always "played a tough tune" when dealing with the opposition forces.
It could also have been carried out by terrorist groups aiming to completely disturb the order in Syria, he told the Global Times, adding that it is unreasonable for the government to blame them, as they need as much support as possible from the people.
"Western countries have expelled the Syrian diplomats and called for Assad to cede power when it is still unclear which side carried out the massacre. This clearly shows that the Western countries prefer the immediate downfall of Assad's government," Li said.