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China Ready to Coordinate with Russia on Middle East Crisis

China Ready to Coordinate with Russia on Middle East Crisis

In a recent statement, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that China is ready to coordinate with Russia on the situation in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq. He said that China and Russia share common interests and responsibilities in maintaining regional peace and stability, and that they have been in close communication and coordination on various issues.

Zhao also expressed China’s support for Russia’s efforts to promote a political settlement of the Syrian conflict, and to combat terrorism and extremism in Iraq. He said that China hopes that all parties concerned will respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq and work together to achieve a comprehensive and lasting solution to the crisis.

Syria has been mired in a civil war since 2011, when anti-government protests erupted as part of the Arab Spring. The conflict has killed more than 500,000 people, displaced more than 12 million, and created one of the worst humanitarian crises in history. The war has also drawn in regional and international actors, such as Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the US, France, Britain, and Russia.

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Russia has been a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, providing military, diplomatic, and economic support to his regime. China has also backed Assad politically, vetoing several UN resolutions that would impose sanctions or authorize military action against him.

Iraq has faced instability and violence since the US-led invasion in 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein’s regime. The country has struggled to rebuild its institutions, economy, and society amid sectarian tensions, corruption, terrorism, and foreign interference. The rise of the Islamic State (IS) group in 2014 posed a major threat to Iraq’s security and sovereignty, as it seized large swathes of territory and declared a caliphate.

A US-led coalition supported Iraqi forces in fighting IS, which was largely defeated by 2017. However, IS still remains active in some areas, carrying out attacks against civilians and security forces. Iraq has also been affected by the rivalry between Iran and the US, as both countries have significant influence and interests in Iraq. Iran has backed various Shia militias that have fought against IS and opposed US presence in Iraq.

The US has maintained thousands of troops in Iraq to train and advise Iraqi forces, as well as to counter Iran’s activities. In January 2020, a US drone strike killed Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani near Baghdad airport, sparking a major escalation of tensions that threatened to plunge Iraq into a new conflict.

China and Russia have been strategic partners for more than two decades and have cooperated on various regional and global issues. They have also jointly proposed the concept of a “community of shared future for mankind”, which aims to promote multilateralism, dialogue and cooperation among countries.

The Middle East is a region of strategic importance for both China and Russia, as it affects their energy security, economic interests and geopolitical influence. Both countries have advocated for a peaceful resolution of the conflicts in the region and have opposed any external interference or military intervention.

China and Russia have also been active participants in the international efforts to address the Iranian nuclear issue, the Palestinian-Israeli issue, and the humanitarian situation in Yemen. They have called for the full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear issue, the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the cessation of hostilities and violence in Yemen.

As two permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia have a special role and responsibility in safeguarding international peace and security. Their coordination and cooperation on the Middle East crisis will not only benefit the people of the region, but also contribute to the stability and prosperity of the world.

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