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China's envoy: Iran's attacks on Israel 'latest spillover' of Gaza conflict

By MINLU ZHANG at the United Nations | | Updated: 2024-04-15 09:22
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Dai Bing, the charge d'affaires of China's Permanent Mission to the United Nations, speaks at an emergency meeting of the Security Council at UN headquarters in New York on Sunday . MINLU ZHANG / CHINA DAILY

China's ambassador to the United Nations on Sunday called Iran's retaliatory attacks on Israel the "latest spillover of the Gaza conflict" and he called for an implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2728 and an immediate end of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The ongoing situation shows that the Palestinian question "remains central to the Middle East issue and bears on the peace, stability and long-term security in the region", Dai Bing, the charge d'affaires of China's permanent mission to the United Nations, said at an emergency Security Council meeting.

Dai warned that if "the flames of the Gaza conflict are allowed to continue raging, then the adverse spillover is set to spread still further, making the region even more unstable", he said.

"Countries and peoples in the Middle East have no desire for, nor can they afford a larger conflict or war."

Iran and allied armed groups launched coordinated drone and missile attacks on Israel late Saturday in retaliation for Israel's April 1 assault on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria. The attack resulted in the deaths of seven Iranians, including high-ranking military advisers, and several Syrian civilians.

The Israeli assault was "a grave violation of the UN Charter and international law and a breach of the sovereignty of both Syria and Iran. The attack is of an extremely vicious nature," Dai said.

Dai said China also has noted that Iran said that its military action was "in response to Israel's aggression against its diplomatic premises and the matter can be deemed concluded".

Iran's mission to the United Nations on Saturday said that with the strikes toward Israel, Teheran viewed its retaliation for the attack on its diplomatic compound in Damascus as concluded.

"The matter can be deemed concluded," the mission said on social media platform X. "However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran's response will be considerably more severe."

The Iranian mission said it is a conflict between Iran and "the rogue Israeli regime", from which the US must stay away.

"China calls on relevant parties to exercise maximum calm and restraint and resolve their differences and disputes in accordance with the purposes of the UN Charter and international law to prevent further escalations," Dai said.

"Ultimately, there is no alternative to the full implementation of the two-state solution, the only way to end the vicious circle of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict once and for all. China calls on the international community, especially countries with influence, to play a constructive role for the peace and stability of the region," Dai said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday called for maximum restraint and said the Middle East is "on the brink".

"The people of the region are confronting a real danger of a devastating full-scale conflict. Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate. Now is the time for maximum restraint," he told the emergency council meeting.

"It's time to step back from the brink. It is vital to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East," said Guterres. "Civilians are already bearing the brunt and paying the highest price."

Iran's permanent representative to the United Nations, Amir Saeid Iravani, said Iran is "never seeking to contribute to the spillover of the conflict in the region" nor does it want to escalate or spread the tension to the entire region and it has "no intention of engaging in conflict with the US in the region".

"Iran's operation was entirely in the exercise of Iran's inherent right to self-defense," Iravani said.

Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, accused Iran of violating international law.

"This attack crossed all red lines and Israel reserves the legal right to respond," Erdan said.

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