China on Monday urged all parties in Syria to support and cooperate with the U.N. observer mission to that country.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily press briefing in Beijing that China had noted media reports that Maj-Gen. Robert Mood, head of the mission, on Saturday announced the suspension of patrols by his 300-member team, citing spiraling violence in restive areas.
China urges all parties in Syria to earnestly fulfill their commitments to cease fire and violence, ensure the safety of the mission and fully implement the six-point peace plan proposed by U.N.-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, Hong was quoted by state-run media as saying.
China along with Russia had vetoed a resolution at the U.N. Security Council seeking punitive action against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad for the suppression of civil unrest in that Middle East country.
Gen. Mood, head of the U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), had urged warring parties to allow the evacuation of women, children, elderly and injured people from the conflict zones. He admitted that "attempts to extract civilians" from the besieged city of Homs over the past week were unsuccessful as the city continued to be under heavy bombardment from government forces.
In a statement, he said troops of Assad and rebel fighters "must reconsider their position and allow women, children, the elderly and the injured to leave conflict zones without any preconditions and ensure their safety."
Reports quoting the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said over 1,000 families in Homs need to be evacuated. At least one person had died in Sunday's violence in Homs' Khalidiyeh district, and ten other deaths were reported from other parts of the country, it said.
Gen. Mood's demand comes a day after he said the U.N. observers would stop operations in Syria because of the escalating violence.
According to the U.N., the conflict in Syria has left more than 10,000 people dead, mostly civilians since the unrest began 15 months ago.
by RTT Staff Writer
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