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Chinese military to provide 'aid and training assistance' to Syrian government

The Chinese military will provide aid and training assistance to the Syrian government, as a Chinese military envoy agreed with Syrian defence minister in Damascus on Sunday.

The latest move is another step taken by Beijing to strengthen engagement in the Middle East. Beijing appointed Xie Xiaoyan, its former ambassador to Iran, as its special envoy to Syria in March.

The Chinese military delegation to Syria, headed by rear admiral Guan Youfei, director of international cooperation at the Central Military Commission, met Fahd Jassem al-Freij, Syrian vice prime minister and minister of defence, Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

"They reached consensus on enhancing personnel training, and Chinese military offering humanitarian aid to Syria," the Xinhua report said without given more details.

Al-Freij thanked the Chinese government and military for their help, while Guan said the Chinese military was willing to continue exchanges and cooperation with the Syrian military.

Guan also met Lieutenant General Sergei Chvarkov, chief of the Russian centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria on Monday.

[Source: By Liu Zhen, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong, 16Aug16]

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