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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Attack against Iranian Diplomatic Premises in Syria

2024-04-02 18:00

Madam President, 

At the outset, I would like to congratulate Malta for assuming the Presidency of the Council for this month. The Chinese delegation will fully cooperate with you and your colleagues. I also commend Japan for all its efforts serving as the President of the Council last month. 

Yesterday, the Iranian diplomatic premises in Damascus, Syria were attacked by airstrikes, resulting in loss of several Iranian personnel and severe destruction to the premises. This is 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. China strongly condemns this attack. 25 years ago, China's Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was bombed by US-led NATO airstrikes, resulting in personnel casualties and the destruction of the Chinese diplomatic premises. We feel the grief and pain of the Iranian Government and people and express to them our deepest sympathy and condolences. 

In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the universally recognized fundamental principles governing international relations, the safety and security of diplomatic missions shall be inviolable. To allow impunity for such reckless acts that lack any baseline would sent a seriously wrong signal and would encourage even more risky acts. We take note of the solemn protests and condemnation against Israel raised by Iran, Syria, and other Arab countries. We hope that Israel will respond to them. 

Madam President, 

Since the Gaza conflict broke out in October last year, we have witnessed attacks on homes, attacks on schools, attacks on hospitals, attacks on humanitarian facilities, attacks on UN agencies, and today, attacks on diplomatic premises. The red line of international law and the fundamental principles of international relations has been breached time and again. And the moral bottom line of human conscience has been crushed time and again. Such a tragedy must stop immediately. Last week, the Council adopted Resolution 2728 calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. We strongly call on the international community to work together to ensure this resolution is implemented so that the Muslim community will not have to celebrate the month of Ramadan in the midst of gunfire. 

At present, the ground situation in Gaza is deteriorating with rising spillover risks. And the situation in the Middle East has become ever more precarious. Israel's frequent cross-border strikes against targets in Syria and Lebanon are a serious violation of the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of the countries concerned, and have aggravated tensions throughout the region. Such provocative actions might trigger greater turmoils and jeopardize the security of the entire region. Such actions must stop immediately. China calls on all parties, especially countries with important influence on Israel, to play a constructive role and to make concrete efforts to bring about an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, ease tensions, and restore peace and stability in the Middle East at an early date. 

Thank you, President.

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