Russia and China have stepped up their diplomatic intervention to find a home-grown non-prescriptive solution to the crisis in Syria — contrary to the call by the Arab League and the western powers for the Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to step down.
China is rushing Li Huaxin, its former envoy to Syria, apparently to test the acceptability of its newly drafted six point plan. Mr. Li is set to arrive in the Syrian capital on Tuesday. The Chinese have been escalating the tempo of their diplomacy in Syria in recent weeks.
In February, Zhai Jun, a Vice-Foreign Minister, had held talks with President Assad in Damascus, and later that month, China's special envoy for West Asia had blitzed across several regional countries, including Israel.
On Sunday, the Chinese unveiled a detailed plan that could lead to the easing of tensions in Syria, and facilitate the search for an internationally backed, internal solution to end conflict in the strife-torn nation.
In sync with the Chinese initiative, the Russians are sending their Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Cairo for talks on Syria with the leadership of the Arab League While calling for the exit of Mr. Assad, the League is yet to unite on a common position on how this has to be achieved. Analysts point out that the shrill demand of Qatar and Saudi Arabia of arming the Syrian opposition, which is itself divided, does not find wide resonance inside the 22-nation grouping. Ahead of the upcoming burst of diplomacy, the Syrian forces have wrested control of the restive Baba Amr district in trouble- torn Homs. The International Committee of the Red Cross said it had managed to reach humanitarian supplies on Monday to Baba Amr residents, who had fled to an area nearly three km away, after escaping from the previous week's heavy fighting. The ICRC described the development as a “positive step,” though it was yet to obtain governmental permission to enter the Baba Amr district, the heart of the conflict zone.
U.N agencies said there was a heavy influx of refugees from Syria to neighbouring Lebanon.