| Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi addresses a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East at the United Nations headquarters in New York, the United States, Sept. 26, 2012. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)
UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said here Wednesday that the future and destiny of the Middle East should be held in the hands of its own people.
Yang made the remarks when addressing a high-level meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in the Middle East where UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil El-Arabi made their briefings.
Yang said the Middle East is undergoing unprecedented changes and has attracted wide attention from the international community.
Peace, stability and development in the Middle East represent the shared aspirations of all people in the region and serve the common interests of the entire international community, Yang said.
"The future and destiny of the region should be held in the hands of its own people," he noted.
The Chinese foreign minister called on the international community to respect the distinctive religious and cultural features of the region, listen to the aspirations and calls of the people living there, and urge the parties concerned to work out appropriate solutions through inclusive political processes to achieve durable peace and common prosperity.
Concerning the Palestinian issue, Yang said the question remains at the core of the Middle East issue. With drastic changes in the regional landscape, it is all the more imperative for the international community to recognize the importance and urgency of relaunching peace talks between Palestine and Israel.
"The international community should adopt a more active and constructive stance to promote peace talks and urge both the Palestinians and Israelis to take concrete steps to remove obstacles to peace talks, rebuild mutual trust, resume talks and make substantive progress at an early date," Yang said.
As for the Iranian nuclear issue, Yang maintained that "dialogue and cooperation is the only right way to address the issue" and it is ill-advised to resort to force or unilateral sanctions.
"The parties concerned should have firm confidence and remain committed to a diplomatic solution and, at the same time, be flexible and pragmatic, seek common ground while overcoming differences, work for early progress in dialogue and negotiations and, over time, achieve a comprehensive, long-term and proper solution to the Iranian nuclear issue," he said.
As a good friend and good partner of the Arab countries and people, China firmly supports and helps promote their just cause, Yang said.
"China will, as always, take a constructive part in the mediation and settlement of the hotspot issues in the Middle East, support the UN and its Security Council by continuously playing an important role in addressing the Middle East issue and help put this region on a path of peace, stability, economic prosperity and social progress at an early date," he said.