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Statement by Ambassador Li Baodong at the 66th Session of the General Assembly on Review of the Middle East Situation and Palestinian Issue


Mr. President,

Yesterday, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People convened a meeting marking the International day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao sent a message of congratulations to the meeting, reiterating China's staunch support for the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore the lawful rights of their nation.

The Middle East issue not only has a comprehensive impact on the situation in the Middle East, but also bears on world peace and stability.The Palestinian issue is at the center of the Middle East issue. Against the backdrop of the profound transformation in the region, the Palestinian issue has once again become the focus of extensive attention. Political settlement of the Palestinian issue conforms to the universal aspiration of people of all countries in the region and the international community, and concerns the long-term peace and security of the Middle East region.

At present, the Middle East peace process is stalled, and the peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis continue to be bogged down in stalemate by issues such as the construction of settlements.China is deeply concerned over the development. We always maintain that the parties concerned should resolve their disputes through political negotiations under the relevant UN resolutions, the principle of "land for peace",the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East Roadmap for Peace with the goal of ultimately establishing an independent Palestinian state and two states,Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace.China supports the efforts made by Quartet to promote resumption of the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.We urge Israel to immediately cease settlements construction, call on the Palestinians and Israelis to work actively in collaboration with the efforts of the international community to promote peace,and create conditions for rebuilding mutual trust and breaking the impasse.

The Palestinian bid for UN membership has recently won extensive understanding and respect from the International community. Palestine has become a formal member of the UNESCO.China has all along supported the Palestinian people in their just cause to restore the lawful rights of the nation. China always maintains that establishment of an independent state is the lawful right of the Palestinian people and the basis for implementation of the "two-state solution".China supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state that enjoys full sovereignty, with East Jerusalem as its capital and based on the 1967 border. China supports Palestine's membership in the United Nations.China also maintains that peace talks are the right way leading to ultimate achievement of the "two-state solution".China supports appropriate settlement of the final status issue by the Palestinians and Israelis through political negotiations.

China welcomes the internal reconciliation agreement reached by Palestinian factions.We hope they will continue to bridge their differences through dialogue and consultation, and push for implementation of the reconciliation agreement. China welcomes the prisoner swap agreement between Israel and Hamas and the implementation of the agreement. This move is conducive to easing of the situation. The security and humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip remains a serious challenge. China hopes that the parties concerned will keep restraint, avoid escalation of the tensions in the Gaza Strip,implement in good faith the relevant UN resolutions,lift all the blockades in the area and create favorable conditions for an early restart of peace talks.

Mr. President,

The Syria-Israel track and the Lebanon-Israel track are important component of the Middle East peace process,and play an indispensable role in the overall settlement of the Middle East issue.China firmly supports the just cause of Syria and Lebanon to maintain sovereignty and territorial integrity, and recover their occupied territories.China supports the strategic choice made by Arab states in their pursuit of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region.

The Middle East issue cannot be resolved without the strong support of the international community. In light of the overall interests of maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East, the international community should redouble its efforts to promote peace,speed up the the political process for the settlement of the Middle Ease issue, and avoid escalation of turbulences in the region. China supports the United Nations in playing a bigger role in resolving the Middle East issue.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a country with a strong sense of responsibility, China has made vigorous efforts to promote peace and negotiations in its own way and advance the Middle East peace process.China will continue to work with the international community and the parties concerned and play a constructive role in the early achievement of a comprehensive,just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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