|Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East|
I wish to thank Under-Secretary-General Feltman for his briefing. I also listened attentively to the statements made by the observer of Palestine and the representative of Israel.
The Palestinian issue lies at the core of the Middle East question. The only way out lies in resolving the dispute through dialogue and negotiation. China has always maintained that on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the road map for peace, as well as through peace talks between Palestine and Israel, an independent State of Palestine must be established with complete sovereignty based on the pre-1967 border, with East Jerusalem as its capital, whereby the two States, Palestine and Israel, can live side by side in peace and security.
At present, the resumption of direct talks between Palestine and Israel represents a rare opportunity for the Middle East peace process. It is our hope that Palestine and Israel will seize that opportunity, seek common ground, avoid any action or polemics that might undermine the prospect of peace talks, and try to achieve substantive progress as soon as possible. The immediate priority is to take effective measures to halt all settlement activities and to stop acts of violence targeting innocent civilians in an effort to preserve the climate for peace talks. The international community needs to scale up its support for Palestine in order to facilitate its economic development and to enhance the confidence of the Palestinian people in the peace process.
At present, the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Gaza, remains grave. The relevant United Nations resolutions need to be effectively implemented, and it is our hope that Israel will fully lift the Gaza blockade so as to alleviate the humanitarian difficulties in Gaza.
We welcomed the ministerial meeting of the Quartet in September on the margins of the General Assembly. China supports the Security Council’s strengthened role in facilitating the international community’s unanimous support of the peace process in the Middle East.
China firmly supports the Palestinian people in their just cause to restore their legitimate sovereignty and has continued its unique, active support of the peace process. China stands ready to continue to work with the international community in contributing positively towards a comprehensive and just settlement of the Palestinian issue and the achievement of lasting peace in the Middle East.
A political solution is the only way out of the Syrian conflict and such a solution must be promoted in parallel with the elimination of chemical weapons. At present, inspection and elimination of Syria’s chemical arsenal is progressing positively and appropriately. China welcomes the Secretary-General’s appointment of Ms. Sigrid Kaag as Special Coordinator of the Joint Mission of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations and notes that Ms. Kaag is already working in Syria. It is China’s hope that the Joint Mission will strengthen communications with the interested parties, including the Syrian Government, to ensure continued progress in the inspection and elimination of chemical weapons according to schedule. China considers highly important the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria and is ready to take part in relevant efforts by providing expertise and financial assistance.
The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2118 (2013) explicitly calling for implementation of the Geneva Communiqué (S/2012/523, annex) and the convening of the proposed “Geneva II” conference aimed at providing an opportunity for a political solution of the Syrian conflict. The international community must seize the opportunity with a view to forging a consensus in order to vigorously advance the political process and facilitate an early convening of Geneva II aimed at a positive outcome. China calls on the Syrian parties to achieve, for the greater good of their country and people, a ceasefire and an end to the violence, without delay, as well as an end to the crisis through dialogue and the rebuilding of their homeland as soon as possible.
China supports the good offices of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Joint Special Representative Brahimi and stands ready to participate in Geneva II and work with the parties to seek a comprehensive, just and appropriate solution to the question of Syria.
Thank you, Mr. President.