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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Briefing on Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question

2021/09/29

Thank you, Madam President,

I thank Special Coordinator Wennesland for his briefing. I have also listened carefully to the remarks of Ms. Farsakh and Ms. Rothbart.

Four months after the last round of conflicts in Gaza, the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory remains turbulent. China calls on all parties concerned especially Israel to exercise restraint and immediately cease hostile act to avoid a cycle of escalation of the situation. We support Egypt and other regional countries in enhancing mediation to promote stability and to cool down the situation. We command Qatar for its cooperation with the UN in providing relief to the people of Gaza, and we support UNRWA in its work to improve the humanitarian situation in Palestine.

The press statement issued by the President of the Security Council in May calls for the reconstruction and recovery in Gaza. Israel has the responsibility to further open relevant crossings in Gaza, remove hurdles for the entry of humanitarian and reconstruction materials and fully lift the blockade of Gaza as soon as possible.

The issue of settlements is one of the core issues bearing on the final status negotiations of Palestine and the prospect for the realization of the two-state solution. Security Council Resolution 2334 clearly stated that settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory violate international law. For some time, Israel has continued to demolish Palestinian homes , evict Palestinians, and expand the settlements. Violence against Palestinian civilians has also intensified. China urges Israel to earnestly implement the provisions of the Security Council resolutions and return to the right track of the two-state solution and Arab Peace Initiative.

Madam President, in his statement at the just concluded general debate of the 76th session of the General Assembly, President Abbas expressed the readiness to work on the delineation of borders and solve final status issues. At the end of August, Palestine and Israel have also had some high level contacts. We hope that both Palestine and Israel will seize the opportunity to continue to build momentum, gradually rebuild mutual trust, commit to the strategic choice of peace talks and resume dialogue at an early date.

Last week, the Security Council and Arab Summit Troika had an in-depth exchange of views on regional situations including the Palestinian question. China supports the strengthening of coordination and cooperation between the Security Council the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. We support the holding of UN-led international peace conference with the participation of permanent members of the Security Council and various stakeholders in the Middle East peace process. We call on the country with significant influence to uphold an objective and impartial stance, refrain from favoring one side over the other, or using double standards.

Madam President, in the past few days in the GA general debate, the Palestinian question was one of the most frequently mentioned hotspot issues. Many Member States expressed support for the just cause of the Palestinian people, and a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question through dialogue and negotiations. This reflects the general sentiments of the international community, and represents internal fairness and justice. China stands ready to work with the rest of the international community to redouble our efforts in promoting peace, and make unremitting efforts to help alleviate the suffering of Palestinian people and to settle the turmoil in the Middle East from its source.

Thank you, President.

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