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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Video Conference on the Situation in the Middle East and the Question of Palestine

2020-03-30 03:43

China thanks Special Coordinator Mladenov for his briefing.

It's the 4th meeting we have on the Question of Palestine since beginning of the year. In recent days, we have witnessed some positive development, including the cooperation between Israel and Palestine in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, we share the concerns of the international community regarding the plans of settlements projects and the inflammatory rhetoric of annexation. I would like to highlight the following:

First, all acts and unilateral initiatives aiming at legalizing settlements should be stopped immediately. Security Council resolution 2334 should be effectively implemented. Parties concerned should immediately cease all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and stop developing and implementing new settlement plans. The call of the Secretary General one week ago should be heard and followed by parties on the ground, namely to pull back from hostilities, put aside mistrust and animosity, and bring hope to the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Second, further attention should be given , and urgent steps taken, in improving the Palestinian economic and humanitarian conditions. The international community should step up its efforts in supporting the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), including through increased and expedited financial support to UNRWA. We welcome the launch of the Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 so that the world's poorest and most vulnerable countries including Palestine may benefit from it. China also welcomes the appointment of Mr. Philippe Lazzarini as Commissioner-General of UNRWA.

Third, more efforts should be made to promote dialogue, negotiation and political consultation on the basis of the "two-state solution", the relevant UN resolutions, the principle of "Land for Peace" and the Arab Initiative, among others. We take note of the recent Quartet meeting which discussed how to revive meaningful peace negotiations towards the goal of two states. We welcome the efforts of Israel and Palestine in fighting the COVID-19 as demonstrated by the phone call between Israeli President and President of Palestine. We support the two sides to strengthen coordination and enhance mutual trust.

China remains committed to firmly supporting the just cause of the Palestinian people for restoring their legitimate national rights. We would work together with Council members to seek a comprehensive, fair, and lasting solution to the question of Palestine at an early date.

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