At the outset, I wish to congratulate you for your assumption of the presidency of the current session of the General Assembly. I am confident that under your brilliant guidance, this session will achieve fruitful results. The Chinese side fully understands and supports the request for resuming the session from the League of Arab States and the Non-Aligned Movement. We hope our meeting will produce some positive results on the situation between Israel and Palestine.
The launch of the "road map" in June brought new opportunities and hopes to the peace process between Israel and Palestine. Recently, however, there have been serious disagreements between Israel and Palestine on the implementation of the "road map", leading to higher degree of countering violence with violence and stalemate of the peace talks. The Chinese side is deeply concerned and disturbed about the upgraded tension in the Middle East.
It is our hope that Israel and Palestine will cherish the results from the peace talks since the launch of the "road map", put an immediate end to the violent clashes and refrain from taking any acts that will lead to further deterioration of the situation.
President Yasser Arafat is the legitimate leader elected by the Palestinian people. The decision made by Israel to expel President Arafat will not help reduce the tension but only serve to deepen the hatred between the two sides. We urge the Israeli government to reconsider this decision.
Both Israel and Palestine should adhere to Security Resolutions 242, 338 and 1397 and the principle of "land for peace" and continue to engage in peace talks. This is the only way to end the three-year violent cycle, remove the roots of violent activities, appropriately settle disputes between the two sides and realize peaceful coexistence.
The settlement of Israel-Palestine issue bears on peace and stability of the entire Middle East region and the world as a whole. The international community should therefore make even greater efforts to exert positive influence and accelerate the Middle East peace process. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China always upholds justice on this question and has made active efforts to promote the Middle East peace process at various stages. China, alongside with the rest of the international community, is ready to continue to play a constructive role in bringing long-term stability to the Middle East.
Thank you, Mr. President.