UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- A top official of the European Union (EU) on Wednesday called for full international engagement "with all available diplomatic means" in the political settlement of the Syrian issue.
"The European Union welcomes the diplomatic opening created in order to control and destroy Syria's chemical weapons," Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, said in his speech to the general debate of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
"A breakthrough on chemical weapons could start opening other doors," Van Rompuy said, adding that "now is indeed the moment to work actively towards Geneva II."
"As international community, we must fully engage, with all available diplomatic means," he said.
He stressed that the "first priority" is to bring all Syrian parties to the negotiating table.
"Those close to Damascus, and those close to the Syrian opposition must do all within their power to draw each side to the table," he said.
Van Rompuy said the EU is ready to provide all support needed to achieve a political settlement.
"And elsewhere in the region too, new opportunities must and can be seized," he added.
Turning to the theme of this year's debate, the Millennium Development Goals and a post-2015 sustainable development agenda, he called the EU a "faithful development partner" who "would not draw away from our responsibilities" around the world.
He stressed that it is at the UN that a "new impetus" must be given for a development agenda.
In his speech, Van Rompuy also highlighted the improving economics of European countries, noting that economic growth is expected in all but one of the 28 countries.
"We are putting out house in order, and expect others to do so too," he said, adding that countries around the world need to correct internal imbalances and pursue structural reforms.
Van Rompuy is among a host of leaders to speak at the annual UNGA general debate at which heads of state and government and other high-level officials will talk on issues of individual national and international relevance.
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Wednesday that UN Security Council should reach a consensus and pass a resolution regarding chemical weapons in Syria as soon as possible.
"By doing so, we send forth a message of unity and in turn provide political support to the work of inspecting, verifying and destroying of chemical weapons in Syria," said Wang when he attended a luncheon together with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moo and four other foreign ministers of the five permanent members of UN Security Council. Full story
MOSCOW, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Only political and diplomatic methods could settle the crisis in Syria and stabilize the situation in the region as a whole, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
During a meeting between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, Moscow urged preparations for the international conference on Syria be completed, the ministry said in a statement. Full story