The Arab League, Russia and China will jointly coordinate efforts to end the violence in Syria, the Arabic daily Asharq Alawsat reported on Thursday, citing the deputy head of the Arab League, Ahmad Bin Helli.
Bin Helli told the daily that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who met in Damascus with President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday, was also in a close contact with the Arab League’s head, Nabil al-Araby.
“I have also received a letter from the Chinese ambassador where the Beijing’s position on the Syrian crisis settlement is expressed,” Bin Helli said, adding that China is pushing for cooperation with the Arab countries.
Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman Liu Weimin said on Thursday that a delegation from the Syrian opposition was on its four-day visit to Beijing, its first visit to China since Russia and China vetoed the UN resolution on Syria.
The Syrian opposition leaders met with the Chinese deputy Foreign Minister, Zhai Jun and other top diplomats.
China neither supports nor opposes any of the sides in Syria, Liu Weimin said, adding that Beijing seeks a peaceful solution of the Syrian conflict.
The Chinese position resonates with Moscow’s plan aimed at keeping Assad in power despite the regime's utter rejection by the opposition.
Russia and China blocked on Saturday a draft UN resolution, which backed an Arab League peace plan that seeks Assad hands in the power to his deputy and form a national unity government within the two months.
The West has been trying to persuade Moscow to support the resolution effectively authorizing a military operation but Russia has repeatedly insisted that the Western drive for a stronger crackdown on Syria is preparation for a “Libyan scenario.” An earlier resolution drafted by Russia has been rejected by the West as "too soft."
At least 5,400 people have been killed in the government's 10-month crackdown on protesters, according to the UN. Syrian authorities blame the violence on armed gangs affiliated with al-Qaeda and say more than 2,000 soldiers and police have been killed.