China Supports Efforts to Convene New Middle East Peace Conference

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last Tuesday, March 25, that his country supports international efforts to hold a conference on peace in the Middle East, and welcomed the second round of dialogue between the Palestinian factions.

In a briefing to the UN Security Council, Yi said the international community should seize the current momentum to stay the course on a two-state solution. Spotlighting the unity of Arab States on this issue in particular, he underlined the need to amplify regional voices and uphold the authority of the United Nations and the Security Council.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi (Photo: Xinhua)

The Chinese Foreign Minister urged the global community to continue to focus on the root causes of the conflict and speed up the political process. Noting that 2021 will mark the fifth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 2334 (2016) which reflects the will of the international community, Wang called upon the occupying State of Israel to abide by the resolution’s terms, stop settlement activities and take action against settlers who commit violence.

Wang also underlined the need for Member States to increase and consolidate their support for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine’s Refugees (UNRWA). He pointed out that throughout the pandemic, China has deployed medical experts and supply shipments to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and its vaccines are now being delivered.

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates expressed its appreciation of the Chinese initiative aimed at achieving security and stability in the Middle East. In a press statement, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said that the Palestinian Authority it was interested in this initiative, and that it was eager to cooperate with China to make the initiative a success, with a view towards ending the Israeli occupation and create an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, based on the June 4th 1967 borders.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said this Chinese initiative is the latest initiative made by China with the aim of  reviving Palestinian-Israeli negotiations to achieve peace, security and stability in the Middle East by embodying the principle of an independent State of Palestine.

On the same day as the statement of the Chinese Foreign Minister, Tuesday, March 23, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) voted in favor of a resolution calling for an arms embargo against Israel. The motion secured the support of some European countries, but was rejected by Bahrain, which previously supported such measures. The resolution passed 32-6, and it called for UN member states to stop transferring arms where “there is a clear risk that such arms might be used to commit or facilitate serious violations or abuses of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law.”