Speaking at a joint press-conference with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the two nations had pledged closer cooperation and were united in opposing Western intervention against Syria and Iran.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weiman said that the two nations are calling for an end to violence in Syria on both sides and want to start a political dialogue between Assad and the rebels.
The comments are a harsh rebuke to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s comments over the weekend. Clinton demanded that Russia immediately endorse regime change in Syria, saying that it was time to oust Assad.
Russia and China have vetoed several UN efforts to punish Assad for the ongoing unrest, and spearheaded the effort by Kofi Annan to launch a ceasefire. The rebels have declared the ceasefire over as of this weekend, launching a massive offensive.
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