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

2019/04/29

Mr. President,

I thank USG DiCarlo for her briefing. I listened attentively to the joint presentation by Mr. Bromberg and Ms. Majdalani.

There are complex and intertwined hotspot issues in the Middle East with continued conflicts and confrontations. The way the situation is evolving attracts heightened attention. The question of Palestine is at the core of the Middle East issue. It is a fundamental question for the region. The international community shoulders the common responsibility to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the Palestinian People.

At present, the situation in Palestine remains dire, with settlement construction advancing, the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks in an impasse and a grave humanitarian crisis. China is deeply worried about this. Here, I’d like to highlight the following points.

Firstly, we need to uphold the “Two State Solution” and resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at the source. The international community should, on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative, the land-for-peace principle and relevant Security Council resolutions, promote the settlement of the question of Palestine, with a view to establishing a fully sovereign state of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital. Any new initiative put forward should be in conformity with the afore-mentioned international parameters.

Secondly, we need to remain united and push for the restart of peace talks between Palestine and Israel as soon as possible. The settlement construction must stop. Parties concerned should avoid any action or rhetoric that may exacerbate the situation or any move that may undermine trust so as to create the necessary conditions for the early resumption of dialogues. Parties with influence to bear in the Middle East should play a constructive role and refrain from taking any unilateral action to further escalate the tension in the region. Greater efforts should be made to move forward the intra-Palestinian reconciliation process and actively explore new ways to facilitate peace in the Middle East so as to bring Palestinian-Israeli peace talk out of the deadlock.

Thirdly, we need to pay close attention to and work to improve the economic and humanitarian situation of Palestine. The withholding by the relevant authority of the transfer of part of the taxes collected on behalf of Palestine is a matter of concern to China. We welcome the financial support to Palestine re-affirmed at the recent foreign ministers’ meeting of the League of Arab States. We call on parties concerned to earnestly fulfill their obligations under international treaties, Paris Protocol included, and fully implement the relevant UN resolutions. The international community should scale up its support to UNRWA to improve the humanitarian situation of Palestine refugees.

Mr. President,

With regard to other hot spot issues in the Middle East, it is imperative for the international community to remain committed to the political solution, facilitate dialogue and negotiations, manage the situation in a constructive manner and accommodate the legitimate rights and interests of all the parties

The Syrian Golan is internationally recognized as an occupied territory. The UN Security Council has adopted several resolutions calling for Israel’s withdrawal from the Syrian Golan. China opposes any unilateral action to alter those facts and does not wish to see any further escalation of regional tensions.

Mr. President,

Development provides the fundamental guarantee for the realization of peace. In mid-April, China hosted the 2nd China-Arab States Forum on Reform and Development in Shanghai. Recently, China successfully hosted the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. These events witnessed active participation by the Middle Eastern and Arab countries. China stands ready to leverage the extensive participation in the Belt and Road initiative to strengthen cooperation and complementarities, and seek for win-win cooperation with regional countries to provide opportunities and platform for development in the Middle East and jointly build of a community of shared future for humankind.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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