Syrian opposition to visit China
Burhan Ghalioun, the spokesman of the Syrian National Council (SNC), is reported to be invited to the Chinese capital, Beijing, by the government of China, the country that, together with Russia, opposed the UN Security Council decision of imposing sanctions on Syria due to its human rights violations.
The SNC, the main opposition umbrella group, is increasing its diplomatic contacts by paying a visit to China following the failure of the ceasefire plan proposed by international envoy Kofi Annan to hault violence in Syria.
Foreign diplomatic sources talking to Today's Zaman on Thursday confirmed the news, reiterating that China had made the invitation.
China is thought to be making this diplomatic move in order to lay the groundwork for future political and trade relations with Syria given the expected collapse of the Assad regime. Political analysts say that since the start of the uprising in Syria, which occurred more than a year ago, China has been much closer to the Syrian opposition in comparison to Russia. Syria, Russia and Iran gave a harsh reaction to the recent "Friends of Syria" conference held in İstanbul, while China was satisfied by much more moderate discourse, all of which garnered international attention.
Dozens of countries attended the Friends of Syria conference held in early April to try to further isolate Syrian President Assad, unite the Syrian opposition and bring aid to embattled civilians.
Moreover, the SNC will be admitted as a legitimate representative of Syria during the Friends of Syria meeting to be held in France in April.