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Statement by Ambassador Wu Haitao at the Security Council Open Meeting on Middle East and Palestine

2019/09/20

Mr. President,

I thank Special Coordinator Mladnov for his report on the situation in the Middle East and the implementation of Security Council resolution 2334. I welcome the presence of His Excellency Mr. Maliki, the Foreign Minister of Palestine and His Excellency Mr. Safadi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Overseas Affairs of Jordan. China has listened attentively to the statements made by both Palestine and Israel.

The recent period has witnessed an increase in the negative momentum prevailing in the Middle East where inflammatory statements have intensified the tension in the region, the construction of settlements continues unabated, the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip deteriorates further, and the peace process in the Middle East has stagnated. China is highly concerned over all these developments. I would like to highlight the following:

First, Security Council resolution 2334 should be effectively implemented. The resolution bears great significance as it reflects the common aspiration and expectations of the international community and responds to the legitimate calls of Palestine and the Arab countries. Continued advancement of settlement construction by the relevant party will undermine mutual trust and seriously dampen the prospects of the "two-state solution." All settlement activities in the occupied territories should be stopped immediately. The demolition of Palestinian homes should be stopped. The destruction of Palestinian properties should be stopped, and measures be taken to prevent violence against civilians. All legal acts and unilateral initiatives aiming at legalizing settlements should be stopped immediately, concurrent with practical measures to eliminate their effects.

Second, it is imperative to promote the comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine on the basis of the existing international consensus. The international community should commit to the "two-state solution" as its ultimate goal, follow the relevant UN resolutions, the "land for peace" principle and the "Arab Peace Initiative" as the fundamental guidelines, and take positive actions to promote the early resumption of peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis, culminating in establishing a Palestinian state with full sovereignty based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Any new initiatives should, without exceptions, meet the above basic international guidelines.

Third, dialogue, negotiation and political consultation are the fundamental way to resolve the Palestinian issue. Neither violence for violence nor inflammatory statements can help solve problems. China is concerned about some recent incendiary remarks about annexing the occupied Palestinian territories, such as the Jordan Valley, and opposes any unilateral acts that may lead to the intensification of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In our view, Israel should act with caution and avoid aggravating regional tensions and turbulences and earnestly safeguard the foundation of the Middle East peace process.

Fourth, we should follow closely and improve the Palestinian economic and humanitarian conditions. Of late, the medical system in the Gaza Strip has suffered serious materials shortages, and the humanitarian situation remains dire. The relevant party should comprehensively lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip as soon as possible and fully implement the relevant UN resolutions. The international community should continue to support the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and continue to contribute to improving the humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian refugees.

Mr. President,

China has always been committed to promoting the Middle East peace process and playing a positive and constructive role in achieving peace in the Middle East. In September this year, China appointed Ambassador Zhai Jun as the special envoy of the Chinese government on the Middle East. In the future,  he will establish close cooperative relations with the relevant parties, actively  promote peace talks, and play a positive and constructive role in advancing the  proper settlement of regional hot-button issues and achieving regional peace and stability.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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