|Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Open VTC on Yemen|
I thank Special Envoy Mr. Griffiths and USG Mr. Lowcock for their briefings. China appreciates the unremitting efforts of the UN in advancing the peace process in Yemen and carrying out humanitarian relief operations.
Recently, Saudi Arabia has put forward a peace initiative on the Yemeni issue. Oman has stepped up efforts to promote peace talks. The meeting of high officials in the P5+4 format was recently held in Berlin. The momentum for a political solution to the Yemeni issue has been strengthened.
At the same time, we have noticed that the military conflicts in Marib are still escalating. Saudi civilians and civilian infrastructure are still being attacked. The humanitarian crisis in Yemen continues. The positive momentum so far has not yet led to a meaningful political process to fundamentally improve the situation on the ground, or substantially alleviate the plight of the Yemeni people.
Resolution of the Yemeni issue must rely on the political and diplomatic means. Positive development in resolving hard issues such as Libya, Sudan in recent years has shown that with the strong will from all parties, the mediation by the UN and support of the international community, we can find a solution that takes into account the concerns of all parties, no matter how complex or difficult an issue can be.
China welcomes Saudi Arabia's new initiative and appreciates the measures taken by Saudi Arabia to ease the situation in Yemen. We hope relevant parties would respond positively and initiate dialogue and negotiations on the specific content of the initiative at an early date. China supports the voice of the Security Council in this regard, to support diplomatic efforts.
To solve the Yemeni issue, countries in the region must play a role. China appreciates the efforts of Oman and other countries in the region to promote peace talks. We hope that countries that have influence on parties to the conflict in Yemen will continue to play an important role. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed last month a five-point initiative to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East, which supports a political settlement of Yemen and other hot-issues with countries and people in the region playing a central role. China calls on regional countries to strengthen dialogue and continuously improve the regional security environment, so as to create favorable conditions for the restoration of peace in Yemen.
To solve the Yemeni issue, priority must be given to humanitarian needs. The international community must increase humanitarian assistance to Yemen, and donors must pay their pledges as soon as possible. All parties to the conflict must ensure safe and unimpeded humanitarian access to ensure that humanitarian supplies smoothly arrive in the hands of those in need. They should also ensure access for food, oil and other imported commodities. China noted that the Yemeni Government has approved for four oil tankers to enter the port of Hodeidah and hopes this could alleviate local energy shortage.
It is pressing to solve the SAFER oil tanker issue. We call on the Houthis to maintain communication with UNOPS, confirm the relevant logistic arrangements within the prescribed time-frame, and assist the technical team to board the ship for inspections and repairs as soon as possible, so as to avoid economic, humanitarian and marine environmental disasters.
Over the years, China has provided a large amount of food assistance to Yemen and signed agreements on economic and technical cooperation with the Yemeni Government. We will continue to provide rice and medical supplies to Yemen as part of our contribution to alleviating the sufferings of the Yemeni people.
Thank you, Mr. President.