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Syria demands US forces withdraw

China Daily | Updated: 2021-01-22 10:40

DAMASCUS-The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday demanded the "immediate and unconditional withdrawal" of forces of the United States from Syria, the state news agency SANA said.

In a statement, the ministry condemned what it called the "hostile practices" of US forces in northeastern Syria.

It accused US forces of "systematic theft" of oil and agriculture resources in northern Syrian in addition to bringing in military reinforcements to that part of the country.

The administration of former US president Donald Trump had destabilized the region and supported separatist movements in a bid to divide Syria and prevent parties from reaching a political solution by supporting "terrorist groups", the ministry charged.

The ministry called on the international community to condemn the US moves and occupation of Syrian territories and denounce the "coercive and unilateral" sanctions imposed on Syria.

US forces have several positions in areas controlled by Kurdish militias in northeastern Syria.

The Syrian government has repeatedly called for the withdrawal of US forces, slamming the US claims its forces are present in Syria to fight terrorist groups.

Separately, the United Nations' Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen on Wednesday regretted a lack of progress in the political process in the war-torn country.

"The political process is not as yet delivering real changes in Syrians' lives nor a real vision for the future," he told the UN Security Council.

Untaken steps

Steps that could build confidence are not being taken.

Those steps are full and unhindered humanitarian access, progress on detainees, abductees and the missing, a nationwide cease-fire, a cooperative and effective approach to countering UN-listed terrorist groups, steps to create a safe, calm, and neutral environment, and external and internal steps to address the socioeconomic crisis, said Pedersen.

There are also no political talks among Syrians other than on a constitutional track.

The fifth session of the Small Body of the Syrian Constitutional Committee will convene in Geneva next week. It will discuss the basic principles of the constitution, Pedersen said.

A council resolution adopted in December 2015 unanimously endorsed a road map to peace in Syria that was approved in Geneva on June 30, 2012, by representatives of the UN, the Arab League, the European Union, Turkey and all five permanent Security Council members-the US, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom.

China's permanent representative to the UN, Zhang Jun, called on Wednesday for efforts to promote the Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process.

As the new session of the Constitutional Committee will convene in Geneva next week, China hopes the Syrian government and opposition will work under the framework of the committee and use dialogue to resolve differences and promote substantial progress in their work, Zhang said.

Xinhua - Agencies

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