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Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun at at a UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in the Middle East

2019/08/27

Mr. President,

I welcome you to New York to preside over this meeting and thank Special Coordinator Mladenov for his briefing.

Recently, the conflict in the Gaza Strip has escalated, the situation in Jerusalem has remained grim, settlement construction has continued, inflammatory rhetoric and actions have been frequent, and the Middle East peace process has stalled. At the same time, the situation in the Middle East has become increasingly tense, local conflicts keep cropping up. China is highly concerned about this. I would like to emphasize the following points:

Firstly, the question of Palestine is at the core of the Middle East issue and also at the root of the regional issues. Safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of the Palestinian people is the common responsibility of the international community. Foreign occupation and historical grievances are the source of this complex and difficult issue. The international community should uphold multilateralism, promote dialogue and negotiations, and peacefully resolve the Palestine issue through political consultation. Violence or threat of force will not help solve the problem. All the relevant parties should move towards each other, actively promote internal reconciliation in Palestine, immediately stop inflammatory words and actions and mutual accusations, and avoid unilateral measures that undermine trust so as to create favorable conditions for resuming dialogue.

Secondly, efforts should be made to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestine issue based on existing international consensus. The "two-state solution" is the only right way to solve the Palestinian-Israeli issue. The relevant UN resolutions, the principle of "land for peace" and the "Arab Peace Initiative" are fundamental principles to be followed in this regard. The international community should proceed on this basis to promote the early resumption of peace talks between the two sides, with a view to establishing a fully sovereign Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Any new initiative should comply with the above-mentioned international parameters.

Thirdly, the Council resolution 2334 should be effectively implemented. With the settlement issue continuing to unfold, the prospects of the "two-state solution" have been severely undermined. The parties concerned should immediately stop all settlement activities in the occupied territories, stop demolishing Palestinian houses and destroying properties of the Palestinian people and should take measures to prevent violence against civilians. All legal and unilateral actions aimed at legitimizing settlements should be stopped immediately and practical measures should be taken to redress their impacts. China hopes that the Secretary-General will submit another written report on the implementation of resolution 2334.

Fourthly, we should pay close attention to and improve the Palestinian economic and humanitarian conditions. Relevant party should lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip as soon as possible, fulfill its obligations under relevant international treaties, such as the Paris Protocol, and fully implement relevant UN resolutions. UNRWA has made vigorous efforts in improving the humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian refugees, safeguarding their rights, easing the pressure of the host countries, vigorously promoting regional peace and stability and preventing the spread of terrorism and extremist ideology in refugee camps. China appreciates these efforts. The international community should continue to lend firm support to UNRWA and contribute to improving the humanitarian conditions of Palestinian refugees.

Mr. President,

China has always been committed to promoting the Middle East peace process, and will continue to follow the "four-point proposal" put forward by President Xi Jinping to promote the political settlement of the Palestinian issue, strengthen communication and cooperation with major parties and countries in the region, and play a positive and constructive role in achieving peace in the Middle East. China is also assisting Palestine to the best of its ability in the field of development. On July 30, China and Palestine signed a document on the implementation of the Ramallah school project, which will provide hundreds of secondary school students in Ramallah with access to nearby schools. China has also actively promoted local exchanges and cooperation with Palestine, supported local social development, provided support to UNRWA, and will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestine through bilateral channels.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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