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

2020/08/25

Mr. President,

I thank Special Coordinator Mladenov for the briefing.

The issue of Middle East, in particular the Palestinian question, has been on the agenda of the Security Council for many years. The international community has put tremendous attention and energy on this specific issue. As a reliable friend of the Palestinian people, China has been making relentless and constructive efforts in promoting a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question. President Xi Jinping has put forth a four-point proposal on this question.

As the Special Coordinator has pointed out, we are witnessing growing tensions between Palestine and Israel, which have put the peace process in jeopardy and heightened the risk of regional conflicts. Under such circumstances, the international community must step up its efforts on the Palestinian question and push forward the Middle East peace process with a sense of urgency.

The international community should firmly promote peaceful settlement based on the two-state solution. Independent statehood is the inalienable national right of the Palestinian people, and it cannot be compromised or bargained away. We hope that relevant parties will take concrete actions to advance the political process, and pave the way for early resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel on an equal footing. Relevant UN resolutions, the "land for peace" principle and the two-state solution set out the overall direction of the final settlement. They are important parameters in the Middle East peace process, and must be observed and reaffirmed.

Mr. President,

The recent escalation of tension in Gaza strip is quite unsettling. We urge relevant parties to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from any hostile actions that may further aggravate the fragile security situation. The Secretary-General's call for global ceasefire should be heeded and truly followed.

We also note with concern the increased demolitions of Palestinian owned structures in the West Bank that lead to more and more displacement. Concrete efforts must be made to implement Security Council Resolution 2334, including ceasing all settlement activities, stopping demolitions, and preventing violence against civilians.

The international community should take an holistic approach, and promote peace through development. We commend the UN agencies including WHO and UNRWA for lending a helping hand. We call for intensified international efforts to alleviate Palestine's economic and humanitarian difficulties, including through UNRWA. It is also imperative to end the blockade on the Gaza Strip and allow timely delivery of humanitarian assistance and services to people in need.

Mr. President,

China firmly supports Palestine's just demands and all the efforts that are conducive to the settlement of the Palestinian question. We stand with Palestine to establish an independent state of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 borders and with east Jerusalem as its capital.

We will continue to provide our support and assistance to the Palestinian people to the best of our ability, including in the fight against COVID-19. We are also committed to working closely with the international community in the pursuit of comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Mr. President,

China attaches great importance to the Iranian nuclear issue. We are committed to upholding multilateralism, safeguarding the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East.

It must be pointed out that the JCPOA is now faced with severe challenges after the US sent a letter to you to unilaterally and illegally demand for invoking a snapback mechanism. The US is no longer a JCPOA participant. JCPOA participants and the overwhelming majority of Council members believe that US demand for restoring UN sanctions on Iran has no legal ground and goes against common views, and the snapback mechanism shall not be deemed as invoked.

China resolutely opposes the US demand and holds the view that the US letter should not be identified as the notification specified in OP 11 of UNSCR 2231. China urges you not to take any action on the US demand. The Council should fully respect views of the international community and overwhelming majority of Council members, uphold its credibility and authority, and fulfill its responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. We stand ready to work with other parties to push forward the political settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

It is my strong wish that you can inform the Council members what is your position on the US letter and what is your plan to guide the discussion at the Council in this regard.

Thank you.

Statement of Amb. Zhang Jun

( second round )

Mr. President,

I will be very brief, simply to say that China supports the conclusion you have made concerning the issue of the JCPOA. That's really the right step to the right direction.

Meanwhile I also wish to point out that China rejects the accusations made by the representative of the United States against China. Once again, they are trying to turn black into white. And once again, I can assure you that their attempt will never succeed.

Whatever the United States says, China is determined in defending multilateralism, in defending the JCPOA, in defending international nuclear non-proliferation regime, and in defending the peace and security in the Middle East.

Thank you.

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