China urges substantial progress in Palestinian-Israeli peace talks
                 English.news.cn | 2014-01-21 09:47:38 | Editor: Fu Peng

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- China urged on Monday the Palestinians and Israelis to make substantial progress as soon as possible in their resumed peace talks.

"The Palestinian-Israeli issue is at the core of concerns in the Middle East," Liu Jieyi, China's permanent representative to the UN, said at a Security Council meeting on the Middle East.

"Establishment of an independent State of Palestine and peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel is the only way out," said Liu.

He repeated his country's constant stance on the issue.

"China has always maintained that on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the road map for peace, as well as through peace talks between Palestine and Israel, an independent State of Palestine must be established with complete sovereignty based on the pre-1967 border, with East Jerusalem as its capital, whereby the two States, Palestine and Israel, can live side by side in peace and security."

The envoy noted that China supports the ongoing talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which are at a "critical junction" at present.

Last July, the United States succeeded in brokering the resumption of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians after they had been stalled for three years. The talks are scheduled to last for nine months.

"It is our hope that Palestine and Israel will seize that opportunity, seek common ground, avoid any action or polemics that might undermine the prospect of peace talks, and try to achieve substantive progress as soon as possible," Liu stressed in his speech.

The immediate priority is to take effective measures to halt all settlement activities and to stop acts of violence targeting innocent civilians in an effort to preserve the climate for peace talks, he said.

With the United Nations proclaiming 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, China hopes the Security Council will play a bigger role in facilitating the international community's unanimous support of the peace process in the Middle East, Liu added.

The Chinese ambassador also talked about the ongoing crisis in Syria, noting that China welcomes and supports the convocation of Geneva II conference scheduled for Jan. 22, and saying it is "an important opportunity to promote the political settlement of the Syrian issue."

Liu repeated the five principles, put forward by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday, for a political settlement of the Syrian issue.

"The meeting in Geneva, marking the beginning of dialogue and negotiation, should be an ongoing process," he said.

"We hope that all parties in Syria act in the interest of the future and destiny of the country and overall interest of the people, summon up political will, meet each other half way, and find a resolution while keeping in mind Syria's national conditions and the interests of all parties," he added.

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