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Chinese envoy urges Syria ceasefire

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China's special envoy is to press Syrian authorities for a ceasefire to halt the country's bloodshed even as Beijing remains firmly opposed to any foreign intervention in the Middle East nation. Li Huaqing, China's former ambassador to Syria, is to meet government officials during a two-day visit. However, he is not expected to meet rebels seeking to overthrow authoritarian president Bashar Assad. China has remained a key Syrian ally throughout the 11-month uprising seeking Assad's removal. As international outrage over Assad's deadly crackdown on dissent has grown, China and Russia have protected Syria from condemnation by the UN Security Council... A senior Russian diplomat said that Moscow was remaining firm in its policy on the Syria crisis and urging the West to press the Syrian opposition to stop fighting Assad's regime.

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