|Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Debate on the Middle East|
I thank Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his briefing. We appreciate the positive efforts that the Secretariat and the Secretary-General himself have undertaken to move the Middle East peace process forward. China has also listened attentively to the statements of the representatives of Palestine and Israel.
War and conflict continue in the Middle East, which is deplorable. Efforts to find a solution should focus on resolving differences through dialogue and on eradicating instability through development so that the region can ultimately embark upon the path of peaceful and stable development. That is where the responsibilities of the United Nations and the Security Council lie.
The question of Palestine is at the core of the Middle East issue. Defending the legitimate national interests and rights of the Palestinian people is the shared responsibility of the international community. At present, the Palestinian-Israel peace talks are deadlocked. The violent conflict has intensified. The humanitarian disaster is deepening. The two-State solution and the prospect of its achievement have been weakened. A comprehensive and just solution to the Palestinian issue is in the interests of all sides. China proposes that the international community should take swift action in the following respects.
First, the international community needs to adhere to the path towards independent statehood, with Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace. The establishment of the State of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital and with full sovereignty, is an inalienable right of the Palestinian people. It is also the key to the solution to the Palestinian-Israeli question.
We should adhere to the principle that the peace talks are the only way out. The deadlock in those talks can only aggravate differences, incite hatred and drag Palestine and Israel into an endless, vicious and ever-escalating spiral of violence. Only with an early resumption of peace talks can there be peace and stability in Israel and Palestine and in the region as whole, which is in the fundamental interest of both Palestine and Israel. There is a need to adhere to the principle of land for peace, the two-State solution, the Arab peace initiative and the relevant United Nations resolutions, with a view to advancing the peace process. The afore-mentioned initiatives are significant outcomes of the excruciating negotiations on the part of the international community, and as such, are highly significant in guiding the Middle East peace process.
Secondly, both Israel and Palestine should stop engaging in violent conflict, and they should exercise the utmost restraint and refrain from taking any unilateral actions. In particular, they should altogether avoid using force against civilians. Israel should stop its expansion of settlement activities and demonstrate good will and meet the basic conditions for the resumption of peace talks. Israel must abide by international law and the basic norms governing international relations, lift its blockade against Palestine, especially Gaza, and rescind its restrictions on aid to Palestine. At the same time, Israel’s legitimate security concerns must be respected and addressed.
Thirdly, the international community needs to jointly explore a broader scope of peace promotion, drawing lessons from the manner in which the situations in other Middle East hotspots have been resolved; explore broader efforts to promote peace on the basis of the Quartet’s recommendations; and demonstrate the will to promote peace through international synergy. Existing mechanisms can be maintained, and new initiatives need to be encouraged. At the same time, attention should be paid to giving free rein to the leadership role of the United Nations, and the outcome of efforts to promote peace should be approved by the Security Council. The international community should help relaunch Palestine-Israeli peace talks and establish follow-up mechanisms to provide robust support and ensure that the outcomes of peace talks are monitored and assessed. In the process of peace talks, the international community should identify mechanisms to provide incentives in the light of actions taken by both sides. There is a need to further support Palestinian capacity-building.
China has always remained supportive of the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national interests and rights. It has always been committed to promoting peace talks. Earlier this year, President Xi Jinping of China, when delivering a speech at the headquarters of the League of Arab States, called for a resumption of peace talks in the political arena and for reconstruction to be promoted in the economic arena. China welcomes and supports all efforts conducive to easing Palestinian-Israeli tensions and achieving the two-State solution promptly. China has long supported Palestinian capacity-building by providing humanitarian assistance, training and aid for reconstruction.
China is confident that, as long as the international community stays the course of promoting peace and as long as Palestine and Israel continue to choose the path of peace talks, peace will ultimately prevail. China stands ready to work with the international community in advancing a just resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli question at an early date.