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Wang Yi Attends Middle East Peace Initiative Ministerial Conference

2016/06/03

On June 3, 2016 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended and addressed the Middle East Peace Initiative Ministerial Conference in Paris.

Wang Yi said that the Palestinian issue is the root of conflicts in the Middle East. We should not allow the Palestinian issue to be marginalized, the peace progress of the Middle East to be halted, or the enforcement of relevant United Nations (UN) resolutions to be delayed indefinitely. Foreign ministers gathering in Paris should speak with one voice and take joint actions to make the Middle East Peace Initiative Ministerial Conference in Paris a new start for the international community's efforts in promoting peace.

Wang Yi said that China proposes to initiate "three stops" as early as possible to this end:

First, stop violence and conflicts. Both Israel and Palestine should exercise restraint to the utmost and avoid unilateral actions that could amplify tensions. In particular, military actions against civilians should not be taken.

Second, stop settlement expansion. The protracted problem regarding settlement expansion imposes the most realistic threat to the "two-state solution". Israel should stop settlement expansion immediately, as a goodwill gesture and the most basic condition for resuming peace talks.

Third, stop blockade against Gaza. Israel should abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations. On the basis of humanitarianism, Israel should lift the blockade against Palestine, especially Gaza, and remove restrictions on assistance to Palestine. Meanwhile, the reasonable security concerns of Israel should be respected and resolved as well.

Wang Yi pointed out that while striving to achieve the "three stops", relevant parties and the international community should meet each other halfway and jointly promote the "three explorations":

First, explore peace-making efforts in a larger range. We should learn from the experience of resolving other hotspot issues in the Middle East, exploit broader efforts in promoting peace talks based on the Quartet mechanism, and welcome the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to play a more active role, so that the willingness of promoting peace talks can be pooled to the largest extent and the joint efforts of the international community in promoting peace talks can be formed. The existing mechanisms can be maintained while new initiatives should be encouraged. Meanwhile, the UN's leading role should be brought into full play, and the results of peace-making efforts should be authorized by the UN Security Council.

Second, explore the follow-up measures of peace talks. The international community should promote the restart of Palestine-Israel peace talks and launch follow-up mechanisms to provide the peace talks with more powerful support, guarantee, supervision and evaluation. Based on the formation of broad consensus, a new Middle East peace conference should be considered, and the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council as well as the "two-state solution" proposed explicitly in the Arab Peace Initiative should be "reaffirmed". Meanwhile, researches should be promoted on the solution of specific problems involved.

Third, explore the establishment of incentive mechanisms for peace. In the process of peace talks, the international community should set up corresponding incentive mechanisms according to the progress of actions taken by Palestine and Israel. Palestine's capacity building should be further supported. China urges that the UN should lead the establishment of the Palestinian reconstruction mechanism to enhance Palestine's ability of economic independence.

Wang Yi stressed that China has always supported the Palestinian people's just cause of restoring their legitimate national rights and backed the establishment of an independent state of Palestine enjoying full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. At the beginning of this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the LAS headquarters, urging to resume political peace negotiations and advance economic reconstruction. China has offered long-term support to Palestine in strengthening its capacity building, and made its contributions through humanitarian assistance, personnel training, construction projects and so on. China has launched the feasibility study on the construction of solar power stations in Palestine this year and will provide Palestine with humanitarian assistance of 50 million RMB.

At last, Wang Yi pointed out that China welcomes and supports all the efforts favorable for easing the Palestine-Israel situation and achieving the goal of "two-state solution" at an early date. Tragedy should not be allowed to continue any longer and must be put to an end as soon as possible. We believe that peace will finally arrive as long as the international community promotes peaceful solution firmly, and Palestine and Israel remain committed to peace talks.

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