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Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Debate on the Situation in the Middle East

2017/01/17

China commends the holding of this open debate on the situation in the Middle East, under the Swedish presidency. I thank the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Mladenov, for his briefing to the Council.

The Palestinian question is at the crux of the Middle East issue. It is a fundamental question for the region. Safeguarding the legitimate national rights and interests of the Palestinian people is the common responsibility of the international community. Presently, the conflagration between Palestine and Israel is becoming increasingly intense, with frequent outbreaks of violence and peace talks are at an impasse. The humanitarian situation is dire. The international community should take effective actions to push for a solution to the question in order to realize the two-State solution at an early date.

First of all, we must stay committed to the correct path to an independent statehood of Palestine, with Palestine and Israel coexisting in peace. The establishment of a fully sovereign State of Palestine, based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, is the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and it is also the key to the Palestinian question. The parties should be firm in advancing the peace process on the basis of the land for peace principle, the two-State solution, the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant Security Council resolutions.

Secondly, both Israel and Palestine should take the implementation of resolution 2334 (2016) as an opportunity to resume the peace talks as soon as possible. A few weeks ago, the Council adopted resolution 2334 (2016) on Israeli settlements. Both Israel and Palestine should effectively implement that resolution, remain calm, practice restraint and gradually rebuild mutual trust in order to return to the right path of peace negotiations. Israel should cease the construction of settlements and the demolition of Palestinian homes, in order to create adequate conditions for the resumption of peace talks. The legitimate security concerns of countries of the region must be respected. Both Israel and Palestine have the responsibility to ensure that United Nations agencies can continue activities with their mandates, without any interference.

Thirdly, there must be broader engagement on the part of the international community. China welcomes the successful convening in Paris of the international conference on the question of Palestine. We hope it marks a new start to intensified diplomatic efforts. China supports all efforts that are conducive to easing the situation between Israel and Palestine and to achieving the two-State solution. We support relevant actors in making contributions from different angles to build new momentum for peace talks, in order to set up a more effective mechanism for peace in the Middle East, positively address the legitimate concerns of Palestine and Arab States and play a more positive role in pushing for an end to the conflict and the resumption of peace talks.

Fourthly, we should continue to promote economic reconstruction in Palestine. China urges Israel to cooperate with international assistance efforts and completely lift the blockade against the Gaza Strip. The parties should respond actively to the United Nations Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People and engage in economic cooperation in order to improve Palestine’s humanitarian situation and living conditions. China will continue to provide assistance to Palestine and stands ready to work within the framework of the One Belt, One Road initiative to help Palestine achieve further socioeconomic development.

China is a firm supporter of the just cause of the Palestinian people. China is also an active mediator for peace between Palestine and Israel. We stand ready along with the international community to further our efforts to push for an early solution to the Palestinian question, a solution that is complete and just, in order to realize peace and stability in the Middle East.

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