UNITED NATIONS, May 16 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Sunday vowed to push for UN Security Council action to defuse Israeli-Palestinian tension.
As the Security Council president for the month of May, China will continue to push the council to take prompt action and to speak in one voice, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.
"We must take action in ending the current crisis, especially through political dialogue," he told reporters after a Security Council open debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which was requested by China, Norway and Tunisia.
China will continue to work closely with Norway, Tunisia and other members of the Security Council to seek the adoption of a statement by the council, he said. "We sincerely hope that all members will join our efforts for that."
China is very much concerned about the alarming, worrisome situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired Sunday's open debate and comprehensively elaborated on China's position at the meeting, said Zhang.
The most urgent and pressing task at this moment is to cease fire and stop violence. What is equally important is to advance a just settlement of the Palestinian question on the basis of the two-state solution, he said.
"For all of that, the Security Council shoulders heavy responsibilities. We must act to seek immediate de-escalation of the tension, halt hostilities, protect civilians and provide humanitarian assistance to those in desperate need. We must act to bring the Middle East peace process back to the right track, implement relevant United Nations resolutions and reconfirm our support to the two-state solution," said Zhang.
It's obvious that without a just settlement of the Palestinian question, there will be no true peace in Palestine, Israel or the wider Middle East region, he added.
After the Security Council open debate, China, Norway and Tunisia issued a joint statement to demand an immediate cessation of hostilities.
The three countries expressed deep concern about the situation in Gaza and the rising number of civilian casualties, and called for an immediate end to hostilities, full respect for international law, including international humanitarian law, and the protection of civilians, especially children, says the joint statement.
"We demanded an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, provocation, incitement, destruction, and eviction plans. Furthermore, we expressed concern about the tensions and violence in East Jerusalem, especially in and around the holy sites, including at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and urged the exercise of maximum restraint and (called) for the respect of the historic status quo at the holy sites," says the statement.
The three countries reiterated their support for a negotiated two-state solution and called for the intensification and acceleration of diplomatic efforts and support toward that goal.
Sunday's open debate was the first Security Council public event to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the escalation. Previously, the three countries managed to push for two rounds of closed-door consultations of the Security Council.
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