|Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the UN, at 60th Session of GA on the Question of Palestine
Since the beginning of this year, thanks to the efforts made by the Palestinian and Israeli sides and the mediation by the international community, the Palestine-Israel situation has witnessed relaxation rarely seen in the past 4 years and more. It is a commonly shared view that 2005 marks an opportune year for the Middle East peace process. We welcome the smooth transition of the Palestinian leadership, the two meetings between President Abbas and Prime Minister Sharon, and the withdrawal of Israel from the Gaza Strip and part of West Bank, which are all major steps towards settlement of Palestine-Israel question.
Undoubtedly, there still exist differences between Palestine and Israel, and there are numerous difficulties facing resumption of peace talks. To grasp the opportunity and make the hope come true, leaders of both sides need to show political courage and wisdom and make joint efforts. Only when the parties concerned genuinely start to build mutual trust and implement the "Road Map" for peace in the Middle East, can the final goal of peaceful co-existence between two independent states be achieved.
The question of Palestine is at the core of the Middle East question. We believe the solution to the Palestinian issue lies in conducting political talks according to the relevant UN resolutions and the principle of "land for peace" and building an independent Palestinian State based on the "Road Map". This not only conforms to the fundamental interests of both Palestine and Israel and all other countries in the Middle East, but also facilitates early realization of peace and stability in the region. It should become a common goal for the international community and all parties concerned.
Palestine-Israel peace cannot be achieved without effective international support. We appreciate the positive efforts made by the "quartet" and others to promote the Palestine-Israel peace process. We hope that they will make even greater efforts to push for an early implementation of the "Road Map" by Palestine and Israel. As an important organization for maintenance of world peace and security, the United Nations should also effectively fulfill its responsibilities in this regard.
Syria-Israel and Lebanon-Israel talks are both important parts of Middle East peace process. Comprehensive peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved without appropriate solutions to Syria-Israel and Lebanon-Israel conflicts. An early resumption and progress of these two talks will help bring about comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We hope that the countries concerned will resume their talks at an early date and seek mutually acceptable solutions, in accordance with the principles set out at the Madrid Conference.
Recently, situation in Lebanon and Syria has become the focus of attention. The Chinese side wishes to express its condolences to Mr. Hariri's family. We strongly condemn this bomb attack and support Mr. Mehlis in leading the International Independent Investigation Commission to conduct independent and impartial investigations. We hope that IIIC will bring the truth to light at an early date, so as to do justice to the victims. At the same time, in the process of conducting and completing the relevant investigations, full consideration should be given to the situation in that region interwoven with many complex elements, so as to avoid any new hotspot and turbulence.
China, like all others, has all along followed closely the situation in the Middle East and given support to the peace process in the Middle East. In recent years, the Chinese leaders and the Middle East Special Envoy have paid visits to the region on many occasions with a view to seeking political solutions to the Middle East question. We will, as always, continue to work with all peace-loving forces and play a constructive role in bringing about comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
Thank you, Mr. President.