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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question

2022-09-28 12:30

Mr. President,

I would like to first of all thank Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland for his briefing.

During the general debate of the General Assembly last week, the Palestinian question was frequently mentioned by heads of state and government. This shows that the plight of the Palestinian people has not been forgotten. An early, comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question remains the common expectation of the international community. The Security Council bears the primary responsibility of maintaining international peace and security, and is duty-bound on the question of Palestine. It must take more vigorous actions to support the Palestinian people in restoring and exercising their inalienable rights, and achieving lasting peace in the Middle East.

First, advancing the two-state solution. A long-term solution to the Palestinian-Israeli issue must be based on the two-state solution. This is an international consensus and the bottom line of fairness and justice, which must be firmly adhered to. We have noted that in his address to the General Assembly, Prime Minister Yair Lapid stated that “an agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two peoples, is the right thing for Israel’s security, for Israel’s economy and for the future of our children”, and that “a large majority of Israelis support the vision of this two-state solution” .We have also noted that President Mahmoud Abbas recognized that the statement is positive, and emphasized that the real test  is to sit at the negotiating table to implement the two-State solution and the cessation of all unilateral measures that undermine the two-state solution. China hopes that the parties concerned can translate the political will into constructive policies and actions, and make concrete efforts to realize the two-state solution on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, the land-for-peace principle, the Arab Peace Initiative, and other international consensus and norms.

Second, promoting common security. In the past two years, wars in Gaza has claimed hundreds of Palestinian lives. Violence in West Bank has been rising one after another. And the peace and tranquility of religious holy sites in Jerusalem has been broken again and again. Israel and Palestine are neighbors that cannot relocate, and their security is interdependent and indivisible. If the security of one side is based on the insecurity of the other, the cycle of violence will continue, and security cannot be achieved. The international community should attach equal importance to the security concerns of both sides, and encourage them to find the greatest common denominator and, through dialogue and cooperation, to achieve common security. At the same time, the occupying power should earnestly fulfill its obligations under international law to provide the safety of the people in the occupied territory.

Third, safeguarding the international rule of law. Settlement activities violate international law and the provisions of Security Council Resolution 2334. They encroach on Palestinian land, embezzle Palestinian resources, and squeeze the living space of the Palestinian people. We have noted that the Special Coordinator mentioned that in the implementation of the Resolution 2334, progress is limited. We urge Israel to immediately stop all settlement activities. We support resolving the issue of the occupied territories in the West Bank in accordance with UN resolutions, and the delimitation of the final Palestinian-Israeli border through peaceful negotiations.

Forth, upholding fairness and justice. What is lacking in resolving the Palestinian question is not a grand plan, but good conscience to uphold justice. Whether the Security Council lives up to its responsibilities depends not on loud slogans, but on concrete actions. In his speech at the general debate of the General Assembly, President Abbas once again asked the Council to take measures to implement resolutions on the question of Palestine. The Council should perform its duties objectively and impartially in accordance with international consensus, and promote the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli talks without delay, instead of waiting for the so-called conditions for dialogue to mature. On issues concerning the future and fate of the Palestinian people, no one has the right to veto.

Mr. President,

China supports the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights, and supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. We are ready to work with all parties to promote the Council to play its role to break the current stalemate and to transform the two-state solution from consensus into action and from vision into reality, so as to realize the peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel, to achieve harmonious coexistence between the Arab and Jewish peoples, and the lasting peace in the Middle East.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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