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Xi calls for immediate cease-fire in Gaza
Time: 2023-11-24    Source: Chinadaily

President Xi Jinping participates in and addresses the BRICS extraordinary virtual summit on the Palestinian-Israeli issue on Tuesday via video link from Beijing. [FENG YONGBIN/CHINA DAILY]

At BRICS extraordinary virtual summit, he stresses need for two-state solution

President Xi Jinping called on Tuesday for a cessation of hostilities and an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, and for working toward realizing lasting peace and sustainable security in the Middle East.

Xi made the remarks during the BRICS extraordinary virtual summit on the Palestinian-Israeli issue, in which he participated from Beijing by video link. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, as rotating chair of the BRICS group of nations, hosted the meeting.

The meeting came as the conflict in Gaza is raging on into its second month. More than 14,400 people, including women and children, were reported to have been killed in the conflict since it started on Oct 7.

Xi said China is gravely concerned that the conflict is causing enormous civilian casualties and a humanitarian disaster, and has a tendency to expand and spill over.

"Given the current circumstances, it is very timely and very important that we meet and speak up for justice and for peace on the Palestinian-Israeli issue," he said.

"It is urgent and imperative that the parties to the conflict must end hostilities and achieve a cease-fire immediately, stop all violence and attacks against civilians, release civilians held captive, and act to prevent the loss of more lives and spare people from more miseries," he said.

Xi added that humanitarian corridors must be kept secure and unimpeded, and more humanitarian assistance should be provided to the population in Gaza.

"The collective punishment of people in Gaza in the form of forced migration, and cutting water, electricity and fuel supplies must stop," he said.

He urged the international community to act with practical measures to prevent the conflict from spilling over and endangering stability in the Middle East as a whole.

China supports the resolution adopted at the emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly on Oct 27, he said.

As the UN Security Council, under China's presidency, has adopted Resolution 2712, which calls for humanitarian pauses and corridors in Gaza, Xi said that all the parties must act to deliver on the resolution through concrete measures on the ground.

Xi pointed out that the root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli situation is the fact that the right of the Palestinian people to statehood, their right to subsistence, and their right of return have long been ignored.

He reiterated that the only viable way to break the cycle of Palestinian-Israeli conflict lies in the two-state solution, in the restoration of the legitimate national rights of Palestine, and in the establishment of an independent State of Palestine.

"There can be no sustainable peace and security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine," he said.

China calls for the convening of a more authoritative international peace conference as soon as possible in order to build an international consensus for peace, and work toward an early solution to the question of Palestine that is comprehensive, just and sustainable, he added.

The president said that since the outbreak of the latest Palestinian-Israeli conflict, China has been working actively to promote peace talks and a cease-fire. China has provided humanitarian assistance to help ease the humanitarian plight of people in Gaza, including $2 million in emergency humanitarian assistance provided through the Palestinian National Authority and UN agencies, and emergency humanitarian supplies worth 15 million yuan ($2.1 million), such as food and medicine, to the Gaza with the help of Egypt.

China will provide more supplies and assistance according to the needs of the people in Gaza, he said.

Tuesday's virtual summit to coordinate positions and actions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict marks the first BRICS meeting since its enlargement. The Johannesburg BRICS Summit in August agreed to invite Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates to join the group effective Jan 1, alongside Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Leaders and representatives of the members of the grouping participated in the virtual summit.