18:40 GMT +317 February 2019
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    Syrian students, look for souvenir items at a shop displaying a portrait of Syrian President Bashar Assad with Arabic legend reads We love you, in the old city of Damascus, Syria

    Beijing Backs Moscow, Damascus on Syrian Self-Determination - Assad Adviser

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    China supports the position of Moscow and Damascus that Syrians must choose their own future, a political adviser to Syrian President Bashar Assad said Wednesday.

    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — Moscow believes Assad must be included in negotiations for a political solution to the ongoing civil war, while Western nations, including the United States, have called for him to step down.

    "China supports the position of Moscow and Damascus that Syrian people should define their future themselves, without external interference," Bouthaina Shaaban said in an interview to Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen television.

    Shaaban added that Chinese authorities were afraid that Islamic State militants of Chinese origin would return to their home country.

    Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011 as Syrian government forces fight opposition factions and extremist groups, including ISIL and the Nusra Front.

    Rally to support Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin in Latakia, file photo
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    Rally to support Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin in Latakia, file photo
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    Tags:
    Daesh, airstrike, Al-Nusra Front, Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Russia, China