China To Send Senior Envoy For Talks In Syria

Published February 16, 2012 7:45AM (EST)

BEIJING (AP) — China says it will send a senior envoy to Syria for talks this week on ending the violence there.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a news briefing Thursday that Vice Foreign Minister Zhai Jun would be in Syria on Friday and Saturday. Zhai met a Syrian opposition delegation in Beijing last week.

Liu says China wants to play a constructive role in mediating an end to 11 months of bloodshed that has killed well over 5,000 in the Syrian regime's crackdown on protesters and rebels.

China and Russia drew the wrath of the United States and much of the Arab world for vetoing a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at pressuring Syria's leader to step down.

By Salon Staff

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