FM calls on nations to swiftly end Gaza crisis

2021-05-18 08:17:03China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China has called on the United States to "undertake its due duty", honor justice and join with the global community in working to swiftly end the spiraling conflict and humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the call as he chaired an open debate of the United Nations Security Council on Sunday to discuss the situation in the Middle East, during which he urged Israel to fulfill related UN resolutions and stop evicting, hurting, threatening and provoking the Palestinian people.

Amid rising global concerns over the exchange of fire, the death toll in the Gaza Strip climbed to nearly 200, and at least 1,225 others were injured as of Sunday.

After two emergency closed-door meetings of the UN Security Council on the issue, China, the rotating chair of the UN Security Council in May, hosted the open debate of the Security Council on the issue.

The latest round of violence "only perpetuates the cycles of death, destruction and despair, and pushes farther to the horizon any hopes of coexistence and peace", UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned at the meeting.

On behalf of China, Wang Yi, the meeting's chair, made a four-point proposal on tackling the tension, which prioritizes an immediate cease-fire by all parties, more access to humanitarian aid, unanimous global support for a political settlement and honoring the two-state solution.

Before the meeting on Sunday, China had worked with other nations in drafting a Security Council media statement on the tension, but it was thwarted by the US.

Wang said that due to the boycott of "only one country", the Security Council is yet to speak with one voice on the issue.

Most UN Security Council members called on Palestine and Israel to resume peace talks on the basis of the two-state solution and said that the Council should speak with one voice to advance the cause of peace, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters in Beijing on Monday.

Dong Manyuan, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies and an expert on the Middle East, said as the global community pays more attention to the issue, Washington's "double standards and siding with Israel" will be further exposed and the US will come under increasing pressure.

Israel will also come under greater pressure to de-escalate the situation and prevent further civilian casualties, Dong added.

After the meeting on Sunday, China, Tunisia and Norway's permanent representatives to the UN jointly met the media in New York and urged all parties involved in the conflict to end the violence and exercise the maximum restraint.

It is unlikely that the two sides and the Middle East in general will achieve real peace without the political settlement of the Palestinian issue, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN.

In an effort to ease the dire humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people, Morocco has pledged to send 40 metric tons of urgent humanitarian aid consisting of basic medical supplies and food to the West Bank and Gaza.

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said on Saturday that Israel "has a duty to ensure unimpeded access to humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip".

On Sunday, Wang Yi called on Israel to fully honor international treaties, end its blockade of the Gaza Strip and allow the entry of humanitarian assistance.

The UN should coordinate these aid efforts in order to avoid a serious humanitarian disaster, he said.

China will further encourage peace talks, Wang said when reiterating Beijing's invitation for peaceful figures from Palestine and Israel to talk in China and for direct negotiations by official representatives of both sides.

Pointing out that the Palestine-Israel issue has been high on the UN's agenda for more than 70 years, Wang said that some Palestinian people have seen their black hair turn gray during the long wait for the restoration of their legitimate rights.

Every major outbreak of violence between Israel and Palestine is "a warning to the international rule of law" and "a test to multilateral cooperation", Wang said.


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