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Statement by Ambassador Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations at Security Council Emergency Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East

2014-07-18 11:32

Mr. President,

I thank you, Mr. President, for convening today's emergency meeting. I also thank Under-Secretary-General Feltman for his briefing. I listened carefully to the statements by the representatives of Israel and Palestine. China is closely following the recent developments in the Israeli-Palestinian situation.

In spite of repeated calls by the international community, Israel has continued with its large-scale aerial bombardment against Gaza and has launched a ground invasion into Gaza, resulting in heavy civilian casualties, including women and children. China is deeply concerned and grief-stricken at this development. China condemns all abuse of force, whatever the excuse, and any action that causes heavy casualties among innocent civilians. Instead of solving problems, force leads only to more bloodshed, destruction and hatred.

We are disappointed that the humanitarian pause did not lead to a sustained ceasefire. We urge the parties concerned to immediately cease hostilities, withdraw their ground troops from Gaza, completely lift the blockade against Gaza and give access to United Nations and other international humanitarian aid agencies so as to alleviate the misery of the local population. China supports efforts by the Security Council to adopt the necessary actions, take a firm stand on the Gaza situation, promote an alleviation of tension, prevent more civilian casualties and maintain peace and stability in the Middle East.

China appreciates and supports the diplomatic mediation efforts by the international community, including by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Egypt and other countries of the region and the League of Arab States, to de-escalate the current situation. The imperative at this stage is for the Israeli and Palestinian parties to respond positively to the international community's ceasefire initiative and good offices, immediately achieve a ceasefire and avoid any military ground operations, rocket-firing or other actions that may lead to further escalation and tension.

China is in close contact with the parties concerned to push for an Israeli and Palestinian ceasefire. A Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister just met separately in China with envoys and representatives of Israel, Palestine, Egypt and other Arab countries and the Arab League and is deeply engaged with them. As we speak, the Chinese special envoy on the Middle East is on a shuttle mission of good offices to Israel and Palestine, pushing for peace and dialogue. We will also send a further tranche in humanitarian aid to Palestine to ease the humanitarian difficulties in Gaza. China is ready to maintain communication with the concerned parties, including Arab countries, and will spare no effort in easing the Israeli and Palestinian situation and maintaining peace and stability in the region.

The question of Palestine remains at the core of the Middle East issue. The ongoing stalemate in the Middle East peace process is not conducive to peace and stability in the Middle East region. The re-emergence of conflict in Gaza underscores the importance and urgency of a solution to the Palestinian issue given the current situation in the region. The international community must step up its efforts to bring about constructive initiatives by both sides in order to restore mutual trust, to promptly resume dialogue and to achieve substantial progress. As the dominant force, Israel must take proactive steps and establish the necessary conditions for the relaunching of the peace talks.

China firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights and the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent State on the basis of the 1967 borders with East Jersusalem as its capital. We also support Palestine's admission to the United Nations and other international organizations.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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