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Chinese envoy calls for political settlement of Yemeni issue

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-07-29 09:51
A rescue worker searches for victims among rubble of a building hit by airstrikes, in Dhamar province, Yemen, Sept. 4, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

UNITED NATIONS - A Chinese envoy on Tuesday asked for an end to hostilities and for a political settlement of the Yemeni issue.

The current situation in Yemen is not favorable. The international community must step up its efforts to push for an early breakthrough in the political settlement of the Yemeni issue, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.

China supports the search for a solution to the Yemeni problem from the three aspects of a nationwide cease-fire, economic and humanitarian measures, and comprehensive political negotiations, he told the Security Council.

Parties to the conflict should stop violence and improve the security situation on the ground, said Zhang.

From April to May this year, a general cease-fire was achieved in northern Yemen. This shows that as long as there is political will, it is not impossible to cease fire and stop violence. However, the recent increase in hostilities among parties to the conflict has destabilized the security situation in the north and the south. China is deeply concerned about this, he said.

Military means cannot solve any problem, but will only prolong the war and the suffering of the people. China urges all parties concerned to actively heed the call of the UN secretary-general and his special envoy for Yemen and immediately cease all hostilities, said Zhang.

The international community must remain committed to a political settlement and continue to promote good offices and mediation, he said.

Special Envoy Martin Griffiths has worked hard to broker a new peace deal in the past four months. But due to various factors, progress has not been satisfactory, said Zhang.

China calls on all parties to the conflict to strengthen cooperation with the special envoy, engage in in-depth consultations on the peace initiative, build consensus, and narrow down their differences so as to ensure the future of the agreement. At the same time, it is necessary to fully mobilize the regional countries and urge them to play an active role in synergy with the mediation efforts of the United Nations, he said.

The humanitarian situation in Yemen should be improved and humanitarian access guaranteed, he said.

The people of Yemen are facing multiple threats such as violent conflict, economic crisis, flood, locust plagues and COVID-19. It is imperative to remove barriers to humanitarian access and expand the scale of humanitarian operations, he said.

The international community should encourage concerted actions by all parties in Yemen to assist the United Nations and relevant agencies in carrying out humanitarian relief operations. Special attention should be given to the difficulties and needs of women, children, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, said Zhang.

The United Nations should also urge parties that have actual control in various regions to take effective measures to prevent and control COVID-19, he said.

On July 15, China once again provided Yemen with a batch of supplies to fight the pandemic. China will continue to support and assist the Yemeni government and people, and calls on donor countries to fulfill their pledges as soon as possible, he said.

The issue of the Safer oil tanker, spills from which may cause disasters, should be given great attention. All parties concerned should maintain dialogue to ensure that a UN technical team can conduct safety assessments and do repairs as soon as possible, said Zhang.

China has noticed that there has been no substantive progress concerning the access to the tanker so far. The Security Council should urge relevant parties to take practical actions to prevent the tanker from causing environmental, human and economic catastrophes, he said.

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