|Qin Gang: The Palestine Issue Should be Prioritized on the International Agenda
On January 15, 2023 local time, when meeting the press with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo, Foreign Minister Qin Gang noted that the Palestine issue is the core of the Middle East situation. It is about the peace and stability in the Middle East and about international fairness and justice. China attaches great importance to the issue. President Xi Jinping has put forward a number of times the initiatives on solving the Palestine issue. He emphasized that injustices the Palestinian people encountered in history should not be indefinitely left unattended; the legitimate rights and interests of a nation are not up for trade, and the demand to establish an independent state shall not be denied. The international community should stay firm in its commitment to the "two-state solution" and the principle of "land for peace", make resolute efforts to promote peace talks, provide more humanitarian and development assistance to Palestine, and strive for an early and just settlement of the Palestine issue.
Qin Gang said China is deeply concerned that the situation between Palestine and Israel has been exacerbated recently. China calls on all parties concerned to abide by the international common understandings and relevant UN resolutions on the Palestine issue, and maintain the status quo of Jerusalem as the holy sites left over the history. China calls on all parties concerned to keep calm and restraint to prevent the tensions from being further exacerbated. Israel, in particular, needs to stop all incitements and provocations, and should refrain from any unilateral action that may lead to the deterioration of the situation. Last week, China supported the UN Security Council holding the Briefing on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine Issue, in active response to the reasonable propositions from Palestinian and Arab friends, and pushed the Security Council to play its due role on the Palestine issue.
Qin Gang noted that the root cause of the constant exacerbation of the situation between Palestine and Israel is that the peace talks between Israel and Palestine got stuck and implementation of the "two-state solution" delayed. The international community should enhance the sense of urgency, prioritize the Palestine issue on the international agenda, encourage Israel and Palestine to resume peace talks, properly handle the final status of Jerusalem and other problems, and promote the just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question on the basis of the "two-state solution" at an early date. Major countries with influence should shoulder responsibility for this.