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Statement by Ambassador Wu Haitao at the Security Council Public Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian Question

2019/12/18

Madam President,

China welcomes the latest written report submitted by Secretary-General Guterres on the implementation of Security Council resolution 2334. We thank Special Coordinator Mladenov for his briefing. We have listened to the remarks of Ms Raemer.

In December 2016, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2334 on the question of Palestine, reflecting the common expectations and aspirations of the international community and in response to the call of justice from Palestine and Arab States. Regrettably, three years later, the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory has witnessed no improvement and even continuous deterioration. As we speak now, settlement activities continue to advance and expand significantly; more Palestinian homes are being demolished; acts of violence and inflammatory rhetoric by parties concerned are escalating; and the Middle East peace process is stalled. China finds all this deeply concerning. We call on all parties to earnestly and effectively implement Council resolution 2334, stay on the right path towards a political solution, adhere to the fundamental principle of fairness and justice, and give play to the key role of the United Nations, so as to form a synergy between regional and international efforts to push for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli question at an early date.

First, we must adhere to the "two-state solution" as the basis for the ultimate goal of establishing an independent Palestinian State. Foreign occupation is the underlying cause of the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli issue. Staying committed to the overarching goal of the "two-state solution" and adhering to the relevant UN resolutions, the "land for peace" principle, the "Arab peace initiative" and other international consensus and norms in search for a solution through equal-footed dialogue and political negotiations -- that is the only viable approach whereby Israel and Palestine can eventually resolve their differences and find a solution acceptable to both. Security Council resolution 2334 makes it clear that the establishment of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, constitutes a violation of international law. Parties concerned should immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and stop demolishing Palestinian houses and destroying Palestinian properties.

Second, we should encourage both Palestine and Israel to move towards each other and relaunch peace talks as soon as possible. Historical grievances lie at the root of the intricacy and complexity of the Palestinian-Israeli question. To repay violence with violence would get them nowhere. Only with gradual buildup of political mutual trust for the benefit of common security can there be a steady and solid long-term solution. The parties concerned should proceed from the overall interest of the safety of local communities and peace and stability in the region, exercise calm and restraint to move towards each other, cease military actions, refrain from inflammatory remarks, cease and desist from all acts of violence against civilians, with a view to enabling an effective easing of the situation, rebuilding and accumulating mutual trust, and creating favorable conditions for the restart of the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. China supports all efforts of the international community conducive to peace between Palestine and Israel. We appreciate the good offices of Special Coordinator Mladenov, Egypt and all parties and firmly oppose any irresponsible remarks by any country.

Third, we need to follow closely and work to improve the Palestinian economic and humanitarian situation by adhering to a wholistic approach so as to promote peace through development. At present, the economic and humanitarian situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including Gaza, remains grim. The international community should scale up its input, place economic reconstruction into greater focus and prioritise livelihood-related projects so as to make a real difference in the lives of the Palestinian people. China supports UNRWA in continuing to play its important role. The adoption of this year’s GA resolution on the extension of UNRWA mandates by an overwhelming majority also speaks to the support and recognition of the international community for UNRWA. China calls on parties concerned to fully implement relevant UN resolutions and immediately and completely lift the blockade in Gaza.

China supports the establishment of an independent and fully-sovereign State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. We stand ready to continue to uphold justice and fairness and play our part as a steadfast builder of Middle East peace, facilitator of Middle East stability, and contributor to Middle East development.

Thank you, Madam President.

(XINHUA NEWS AGENCY LI MUZI)

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