DAMASCUS, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has hailed China's supportive stance toward Syria and its role in solving critical regional issues, including the Iranian-Saudi reconciliation.
Assad made the remarks during his meeting with the visiting China's special envoy on Middle East affairs, Zhai Jun, in the capital Damascus on Saturday.
Assad said Syria appreciates China's firm support in issues concerning Syria's national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
The president said Syria looks forward to strengthening practical cooperation with China in various fields within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Meanwhile, Assad congratulated China on successfully mediating the Iranian-Saudi reconciliation, saying it will have an important and positive impact on the regional and international situation.
Voicing appreciation for China's positive role in promoting Syria's relations with other Arab nations, Assad said China is welcome to play a greater role in maintaining regional peace and stability.
For his part, Zhai said that in recent years, China-Syria relations have continued to develop, and political mutual trust has been continuously enhanced, stressing that China is willing to work with Syria to firmly support each other in issues concerning the two countries' core interests, and promote the friendly cooperation between the two sides to achieve new progress.
Zhai noted that Syria's independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity should be respected and maintained, urging the United States and the West to lift unilateral sanctions and economic blockade against Syria immediately.
He also called on the international community to sincerely provide humanitarian and development assistance to the Syrian people, noting that China is willing to continue to play a constructive role in improving Syria's relations with Arab countries. ■