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President urges UN efforts for lasting peace in Gaza

By CAO DESHENG | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-12-01 07:16
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President Xi Jinping has reemphasized the importance of taking urgent actions to address the Palestine-Israel conflict, and urged the United Nations Security Council to shoulder its responsibilities and make every effort to facilitate a long-term cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, ensure the safety of civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster.

Xi made the remarks in a congratulatory message sent to a UN meeting held on Wednesday to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Peace talks between Palestine and Israel should be restarted as soon as possible, and the Palestinian people's right to survival and statehood should be restored as soon as possible, Xi said in his message.

He noted that the Palestinian question is at the heart of the Middle East issue, and the solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict lies in the long-overdue realization of the national right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state.

The bitter lessons of the cycle of the Palestine-Israel conflict fully demonstrate that only by upholding the concept of common security can sustainable security be achieved, he said.

Xi emphasized that China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, will continue to work with the international community to build a global consensus on promoting peace, bring the Palestinian question back on the right track toward the two-state solution, and strive for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement at an early date.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a paper stating China's position on resolving the Palestine-Israel conflict. It said the Security Council shoulders primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, and thus should play an active and constructive role on the Palestinian question.

While stating that parties to the conflict should truly implement the relevant UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions and immediately realize a durable and sustained humanitarian truce, the document called for implementing a comprehensive cease-fire and ending the fighting, protecting civilians effectively, ensuring humanitarian assistance, enhancing diplomatic mediation and seeking political settlement of the conflict.

The Security Council should further send a clear message on opposing forced transfer of the Palestinian civilian population, preventing the displacement of Palestinian people and calling for the release of all civilians and hostages held captive as soon as possible, it said.

The document underlined the need for the Security Council to leverage its role in facilitating peace as mandated in the UN Charter to demand that parties to the conflict exercise restraint to prevent the conflict from widening and uphold peace and stability in the Middle East.

It called for a more broad-based, authoritative and effective international peace conference led and organized by the UN to be held as soon as possible to formulate a concrete timetable and road map for the implementation of the two-state solution, and facilitate a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question.

Any arrangement on the future of Gaza must respect the will and independent choice of the Palestinian people, and must not be imposed upon them, it added.

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi presided over a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council on the Palestinian-Israeli issue in New York, as China served as the rotating president of the council for November.

Foreign ministers and senior representatives from around 20 countries, including Palestine, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Turkiye, Slovenia and Malaysia, and all members of the Security Council, attended the meeting.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including in Gaza.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Wang, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said the two-state solution is the only way to fundamentally resolve the Palestinian question.

The settlement of the Palestinian question does not lack grand plans or slogans, but the courage and actions to stand up for justice, he said.

"The two-state solution is the bottom line for international justice. There is no stepping back from that. Independent statehood is an inalienable national right of the Palestinian people, a right that cannot be traded away," Wang said.

In order to alleviate the humanitarian crisis, China will provide more emergency supplies to Gaza, he added.

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