|Statement by Ambassador Li Baodong, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East|
I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Lynn Pascoe for his briefing. I have also listened carefully to the statements made by the Permanent Observer of Palestine and the representative of Israel.
The situation in the Middle East remains complex and fragile. The peace process is still at an impasse, which is very worrisome and disconcerting. The Israeli-Palestinian issue remains at the centre of the Middle East process and therefore requires the ongoing attention and assistance of the international community. China has always advocated the settling of disputes between Israel and Palestine on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the principle of Land for Peace, the Arab Peace Initiative, the Middle East Road Map and other agreements with a view to ultimately establishing an independent State of Palestine living in peace side by side with Israel.
China welcomes and supports every effort to overcome the impasse in the talks and in restarting negotiations. We welcome the recent efforts made by both Israel and Palestine to resume the peace talks at an early date, which we hope will soon yield positive results.
China hopes that the Quartet will continue to contribute to the peace talks between Israel and Palestine. China believes that the Security Council should play a greater role in the resolution of the question of the Middle East.
Israel’s settlement activities represent the main obstacle to the resumption of peace talks. China has consistently opposed Israel’s construction of Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territories. We urge Israel to cease immediately its settlement activities and to cooperate with international efforts towards peace, so as to create conditions conducive to the resumption of peace talks.
At present, the security and humanitarian situation in the occupied territories, including the Gaza Strip, remains grave. The relevant United Nations resolutions must be implemented. We hope that Israel will lift completely its blockade against the Gaza Strip, so that the people of Gaza can resume their normal lives in conditions of dignity, with space for development. The international community must provide greater assistance and support to the Palestinian people.
The talks on the Syria-Israel track and on the Lebanon-Israel track represent an important and integral part of the Middle East peace process. A comprehensive settlement of the Middle East question is indissociable from progress on those two tracks.
China fully supports the just aspirations of Syria and Lebanon to safeguard their national sovereignty and territorial integrity and to recover their occupied territories.
China supports the Arab States’ strategic choice to seek a comprehensive and lasting peace in the region. China is in favour of the Security Council’s playing a greater role in advancing the Middle East peace process. China is ready to continue to play a constructive role in seeking the early realization of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
It is China’s consistent view that the crisis in Syria can be settled only through a Syrian-led political process on the basis of respect for the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria and for the choices and will of the Syrian people. We call upon all factions in Syria and on the international community to cooperate with and support the efforts of the Joint Special Envoy, Mr. Annan, to fully implement the six-point plan.