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Statement by Ambassador Wu Haitao at the Security Council on the Middle East

2019/07/23

I thank USG DiCarlo for her briefing. The current situation in the Middle East is unstable and uncertainties have visibly increased. For the hot-spot issues in the region, the international community should remain committed to a political solution, promote dialogue and negotiation and take a constructive approach to manage the situation while taking care of the legitimate rights and interests of the parties concerned. The Palestinian question lies at the heart of the Middle East issue. It is a matter that touches the very root of all that has to do with the Middle East. Upholding the legitimate rights and interests of the Palestinian people is the joint responsibility of the international community. At present, the Middle East peace process has been deadlocked while inflammatory words and actions are increasing and even escalating. Construction of settlements and demolition of Palestinian houses have continued and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is deepening. China is deeply worried about this. Here I wish to stress the following points:

First, resolution 2334 should be effectively implemented. The recent clash in the village of Sur Baher in Jerusalem has drawn intense international attention. Parties concerned should immediately stop the demolition of Palestinian houses and destruction of Palestinian property, cease all settlement activities in the occupied territories and take measures to prevent violence against civilians. All legal actions and unilateral initiatives aimed at legalizing settlements must immediately be put to an end and concrete measures should be taken to eliminate their practical effect on the ground so as to avoid weakening the prospect of the two-States solution.

Second, we must champion multilateralism and uphold fairness and justice in promoting a comprehensive, just and durable solution of the Palestinian question. The two-States solution is the only correct way forward to resolving the question of Palestine and Israel. Principles including the “Arab Peace Initiative” and “Land for Peace” and relevant Council resolutions offer basic parameters for resolving the Palestinian and Israeli conflict which should underpin the international community’s efforts to promote an early resumption of negotiations between of the two parties which should lead ultimately to the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. Any new initiative must be in line with the above-mentioned international guidelines. Countries that have major influence in the region should play a constructive role and help create necessary conditions for the resumption of the dialogue.

Third, close attention must be given to improving the economic and humanitarian situation of Palestine. China expresses once again its concern at the withholding of tax revenue collected on behalf of Palestine and calls upon the parties concerned to implement obligations under international treaties including the Paris Protocol, fully implement relevant UN resolutions and swiftly and completely lift the Gaza blockade. The international community should continue to increase its support to UNRWA with a view to improving the humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian refugees. China has announced that it will increase its annual contribution to the Agency to US$1 million. We will also provide support to the Palestinian people through bilateral channels including through support to regional countries’ assistance programs for the Palestinian refugees.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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