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Published: Wednesday April 16, 2014 MYT 10:05:02 PM
Updated: Wednesday April 16, 2014 MYT 10:06:06 PM

Syrian opposition chief meets Chinese foreign minister in Beijing

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's foreign minister Wang Yi met Syria's opposition leader Ahmad Jarba this week and said Beijing supported a political settlement to the Syrian conflict, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Wang said China continued to stay in communication and dialogue with all parties.

"China's attention to the Syria issue is in the longterm collective interests of the Syrian people, and will help safeguard peace and stability in the Middle East," Wang said.

Jarba said his Syrian National Coalition also sought a political solution, according to a statement from the ministry.

"If the Syrian government is sincere, the National Coalition is willing to join the third round of talks in Geneva," he added.

Jarba arrived in Beijing this week with a delegation to meet Wang and other Foreign Ministry officials, as well as Chinese scholars, Chinese state media reported.

China, along with its ally Russia, have vetoed the West's proposals to impose U.N. sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

China has previously hosted delegations from both the Syrian opposition and the government, and has taken efforts to show it is not taking sides. It has said it opposes the use of chemical weapons by any side.

(Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan; editing by Andrew Roche)

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