CHINA / National

China to offer emergency humanitarian aid to Lebanon
Updated: 2006-07-28 19:17

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said Friday that China has decided to offer emergency humanitarian aid to Lebanon.

Liu made the remark when commenting on a presidential statement issued Thursday by the United Nations Security Council on the Israeli attack on a UN observer post in southern Lebanon, which killed four UN military observers including a Chinese.

"We demand Israel to cooperate with the UN and carry out all-round investigation, and announce its result as soon as possible," Liu said.

Thursday's statement says the Security Council is deeply concerned about the safety and security of UN personnel, stressing that Israel and all concerned parties must fully comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law related to the protection of UN and its associated personnel and ensure that UN personnel are not the object of attack.

"China also urges Israel and related sides to implement their international obligations and take practical measures to ensure the security of UN peacekeepers," the spokesman said.

He said China has repeatedly expressed its solemn stance on the issue and strongly condemned the attack.

China is strongly concerned about the current situation in the Middle East, now in tensions and turbulence, Liu said.

China urges all parties to the conflict to cease fire immediately, launch humanitarian assistance, and return to the track of negotiations for political solution, so as to resume peace and security in the region as soon as possible, he said.

After the attack, Chinese President Hu Jintao on Wednesday expressed his "deep condolences" over the death of Chinese UN observer Du Zhaoyu, a Lieutenant Colonel of the Chinese People's Liberation Army with a postgraduate degree.

Du was sent to Lebanon in January this year as a UN observer.

President Hu "demanded the Chinese departments concerned properly handle the aftermath of the incident and take every measure necessary to ensure the safety of Chinese nationals in Lebanon."

"China urges the concerned sides, especially Israel, to take tangible measures to ensure the security of UN peacekeepers," Liu said Wednesday.

The UN presidential statement said the Council "is deeply shocked and distressed" by the Israeli attack.

"The Security Council calls on the Israeli government to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into this incident, taking into account any relevant material from the UN authorities, and make the results public as soon as possible," said the statement.

The statement expressed the Council's deep concern for Lebanese and Israeli civilian casualties and sufferings, the destruction of civilian infrastructures and the rising number of internally displaced people in Lebanon.