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    A Chinese paramilitary policeman, right, stands guard in front of the Great Hall of the People as a security officer walks past with a search dog before the opening session of the annual National People's Congress in Beijing, Thursday, March 5, 2015

    Beijing Appoints First Special Envoy for Syria

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    The government of China has for the first time sent a special representative for Syria.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) — The government of China has for the first time appointed a special representative for Syria, career diplomat Xie Xiaoyan, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

    "The Chinese government has appointed Mr. Xie Xiaoyan as a special representative for the Syrian crisis," Hong Lei said.

    An official boards a hijacked Egyptair A320 Airbus at Larnaca Airport in Larnaca, Cyprus, March 29, 2016
    © REUTERS / Yiannis Kourtoglou
    Xie Xiaoyan previously served as Chinese ambassador to Iran, Ethiopia and the African Union. Hong Lei expressed confidence that "an experienced diplomat Xie Xiaoyan will successfully handle" the tasks ahead.

    "China appointed a special envoy in order to better promote the peace negotiations, to contribute to them and to facilitate contact with the relevant parties," the spokesman added.

    The latest round of talks between Damascus and the opposition groups opened on March 14 in Geneva and ended on Thursday. Besides the government representatives, three opposition delegations took part in the negotiations: the High Negotiations Committee (HNC), which was formed in Saudi Arabia in December, a delegation formed following talks in Moscow and Cairo and a group formed after opposition talks at the Hmeimim air base in Syria.

    The round saw all delegations submit their settlement proposals to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who then produced a final paper with points of convergence between the parties. The next round of talks on Syrian reconciliation is expected to start around April 10.

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    representative, envoy, ambassador, China, Syria, Geneva
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