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Chinese envoy urges placing Palestinian question on top of intl agenda

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-06-03 17:37

Palestinian children are seen in a house after it was damaged in an airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia on May 30, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

UNITED NATIONS -- A Chinese envoy on Friday urged the international community to place the Palestinian question on top of the international agenda.

"The international community must always place the Palestinian question on top of the international agenda, and advance the two-state solution with a greater sense of urgency," said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, at this year's pledging conference for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

"For over 70 years, the agency has played an irreplaceable and vital role in alleviating the humanitarian plight of Palestinian refugees by providing them with critical relief and protection. China fully recognizes and highly commends the work of the agency, and welcomes the adoption by the General Assembly of the resolution on the renewal of the agency's mandate with a majority of votes in December last year," Geng said.

China notes with concern that the agency has been in a deep financial crisis in recent years, and its ability to perform its duties has been severely limited, he said.

"China called for political support and financial guarantees for UNRWA and necessary help to host countries, including Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. We also call for the lift of blockade on the Gaza Strip, the cessation of settlement activities in the occupied territory, and the avoidance of unilateral actions that exacerbate the plight of Palestinian refugees," said the envoy.

Geng said that China has long been providing humanitarian and development assistance to Palestine, and has been providing assistance "within our capacity to support the agency in fulfilling its mandate. This year, China will again contribute $1 million to the agency."

"China always and firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate national rights, and supports the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital and on the basis of 1967 borders," he said.

Geng added that in December 2022, the Riyadh Declaration of the China-Arab States Summit gave prominence to the Palestinian question, demonstrating the solidarity and consensus between China and Arab countries.

"China is ready to work with the international community and make positive contributions to the early achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question and the realization of lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity in the Middle East," said the envoy.

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