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Statement by Ambassador MA Zhaoxu at the Security Council Briefing on the Palestinian Question

2018/02/20

I would like to thank Secretary-General Guterres for attending today’s meeting. We thank the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Mladenov, for his informative briefing. China welcomes His Excellency President Abbas of Palestine at today’s meeting and thanks him for his statement.

The question of Palestine is the most protracted regional hotspot issue since the Second World War. It lies at the heart of the Middle East issue and is fundamental to achieving peace in the region. Only by establishing a genuine State of Palestine can Israel enjoy lasting security. Only a comprehensive settlement to the question of Palestine can bring about a fundamental shift in the situation in the Middle East.

China is gravely concerned about the situation between Palestine and Israel, which remains tenuous, and the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. All parties should faithfully implement UNSC resolution 2334 (2016), cease all settlement activities in the occupied territory and act to prevent further violence against civilians. All parties should remain calm, exercise restraint and move towards each other, thereby helping to foster the necessary conditions for the resumption of talks.

We believe that a two-State solution represents the right way forward towards resolving the question of Palestine. The international community should uphold the relevant United Nations resolutions, the principle of land for peace and the Arab Peace Initiative, while jointly exploring ways and means to promote peace so as to achieve an early, comprehensive, just and lasting settlement to the question of Palestine. The international community should offer guarantees regarding Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Parties with major influence on the Middle East should all play a constructive role in that regard.

China remains committed to supporting and facilitating the Middle East peace process. We support the Palestinians establishing a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian State on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

In July last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward a four-point proposal to promote the resolution of the question of Palestine, calling for the advancement of the political settlement on the basis of the two-State solution, adhere to a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security concept, greater coordination of international efforts to maximize synergy for peace, and a holistic approach for peace through development. Work is in full swing to implement that proposal. In December last year, China successfully hosted a symposium of Palestinian and Israeli pro-peace actors and will continue to push for a political settlement to the question in a constructive manner.

The question of Jerusalem is complex and delicate, and it underpins the future solution to the question of Palestine. All parties should respect historical plurality, uphold fairness and justice, implement international consensus, strive for peaceful coexistence and act upon the relevant United Nations resolutions so as to reach a solution that accommodates all parties’ interests through final-status negotiations. Palestine and Israel should respect each other’s right to existence and avoid any action that may aggravate the current situation.

The international community needs to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian refugees, which can help improve the political, security and humanitarian situation there. Over the past six decades and more, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has played an indispensable role in easing the humanitarian crisis in the occupied territories. We call upon all parties to scale up their support for UNRWA and countries hosting the Palestinian refugees so as to steadily improve the humanitarian conditions in which the refugees are living.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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