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Statement by Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu at Security Council Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East

2018/07/24

Mr. president,

China thanks Special Coordinator Mladenov for his briefing and commends his active efforts to deescalate tensions in the region.

At present, the situation between Palestine and Israel is deeply worrying. The situation in Gaza remains fragile and tense and the risk of further escalation of violent conflicts cannot be ignored. The prospect of the "two-state solution" is unclear. Efforts for the resumption of talks between the two sides are stalled, while settlement activities are still going on, and Palestinian houses are being demolished.

China is deeply concerned over the developments on the ground and the casualties caused by the conflicts. The use of force and curbing violence with violence will not solve any problem. We strongly condemn the willful use of force and oppose violence against civilians. We urge all parties to bear in mind the safety and security of the people in this region and the imperative of peaceful coexistence by exercising restraint to avoid escalation of the situation. The dire humanitarian situation in Gaza doesn't serve regional stability. We hope the parties concerned will remove the blockade of Gaza as soon as possible.

"The two-state solution" is the fundamental way to resolve conflicts between Palestine and Israel. The international community should adhere to the relevant UN resolutions, the principle of "land for peace" and the Arab Peace Initiative in scaling up its efforts for the resumption of talks. Concrete actions should be taken to implement Security Council resolution 2334, cease all settlement activities on the occupied territory and the demolition of Palestinian houses and property. Steps should also be taken to prevent violence against civilians.

The international community should remain united in pushing for the early resumption of peace talks between the two sides. All parties should meet each other halfway and avoid any action or rhetoric that might aggravate the situation, refrain from any unilateral action that might undermine trust so as to create necessary conditions for the resumption of dialogue. Parties that can bring influence to bear on the question of the Middle East should play a constructive role. China appreciates the efforts by Egypt and others to actively promote intra-Palestinian reconciliation. We support convening a new international conference on the question of Palestine and exploring innovative mechanisms to facilitate peace in the Middle East to break the deadlock in Palestinian-Israeli talks as soon as possible.

Mr. President,

China firmly supports the establishment of an independent and fully sovereign state of Palestine based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We support greater integration of Palestine into the international community. At the opening ceremony of the 8th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum on 10 July, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced another 100 million RMB in aid to Palestine in support of its economic development and improvement of people's livelihood. China will continue to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Palestine and make an additional contribution of two million US dollars to UNWRA.

Mr. President,

Peace, reform and development are the common needs of countries in the Middle East. Stability, tranquility and happiness are the shared aspirations of the people in the region. We should address the hotspot issues in the Middle East in a peaceful, just, constructive and inclusive manner. To be specific, we should:

First, stay committed to the political solution and facilitate dialogue and negotiations to avoid the vicious cycle of violence for violence. Second, be impartial and avoid imposing compromise, so that stability can turn into lasting peace rather than hiatus of turmoil. Third, manage the situation in a constructive manner that takes into account both the history and reality to build the momentum for ending the violence and improving the situation. Fourth, accommodate the legitimate rights and interests of all the parties and refrain from making exclusive arrangements to build an open and stable framework for regional peace.

China stands ready to work with regional countries to enhance the alignment of strategies and actions. We are committed to safeguarding peace and stability in the Middle East, upholding equity and justice, promoting common development and advocating mutual learning and friendship with a view to contributing to the building of a community of shared future for mankind.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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