China asked to help end Syrian conflict

China asked to help end Syrian conflict
President Xi Jinping meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan at a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People on Wednesday.

Jordan's King Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein on Wednesday called on China to exert its influence to help resolve the conflict in Syria. The king's comments came as world powers kicked off negotiations on a draft resolution on Syria's chemical weapons.

Experts said China is becoming more involved in the Middle East, both economically and diplomatically, and regional expectations are growing over China's role in helping to solve thorny issues.

"It is in that spirit that I am here today to discuss with you, as a key member of the United Nations Security Council and a friend of Jordan and the Middle East, ways and means of achieving peace, stability, civility and prosperity in our region through an active role in the (Israel-Palestine) peace process as well as that of the Syrian conflict," Abdullah told President Xi Jinping on Wednesday.

Abdullah made the appeal at the start of a meeting between the two leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The king ended his four-day state visit to China later on Wednesday, after a meeting with Premier Li Keqiang.

Premier Li said China is willing to consolidate political mutual trust, strengthen strategic communication and collaboration with Jordan.

In talks with Xi, Abdullah said Jordan appreciates China's role in promoting the Middle East Peace Process and in searching for a political settlement for the Syrian issue.

Calling Jordan "a good friend and partner" of China, Xi called on the two countries to maintain communications on major international and regional affairs.

Jordan has been trying hard to avoid friction with Syria, its larger neighbour. A Jordanian government spokesman said in late August that the pro-US kingdom will not be a launch pad for attacks on Syria. US troops are stationed in Jordan.

The spokesman said Jordan would prefer a "diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis".

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