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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Xi Jinping calls for ceasefire to end Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinpingon Tuesday called for a ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict for lasting peace and security and said that the two-state solution is the way out for durable peace in the region. Addressing the BRICS extraordinary virtual summit on the Palestine-Israeli issue, Xi said the fundamental way out of the recurring Palestinian-Israeli conflicts is to implement the two-state solution, restore the legitimate rights of the Palestinian nation, and establish an independent State of Palestine.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the current chair of the BRICS group, convened a virtual summit of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) group of nations on the situation in Gaza.
Xi said the BRICS voice of justice and peace on the Palestinian-Israeli issue is timely and imperative.
He said that without a just settlement of the Palestinian question, there would be no enduring peace and stability in the Middle East.
Xi made three proposals to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict which included that all parties in the conflict should immediately cease fire and hostilities, stop all violence and attacks targeting civilians, and release civilian detainees to avoid more loss of lives and suffering.
He said it is also imperative to ensure the safe and smooth passage of humanitarian relief, expand humanitarian aid to people in Gaza, and stop the forced relocation and the cut-off of water, electricity and oil that targets people in Gaza as a collective punishment, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Xi called on the international community to take concrete measures to prevent the escalation of the conflicts and the impact on the stability of the entire Middle East.
Ever since the conflict broke out after the Hamas militants from Gaza attacked Israeli civilians and took a large number of hostages resulting in massive military backlash by Israel, China has called for an immediate end to hostilities, exercise restraint, and remain calm to protect civilians to avoid further deterioration of the situation.
While condemning the attacks on civilians, Beijing however has not named Hamas.
China this year has stepped up its diplomacy in the Middle East and brokered a surprise deal between arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran in March to end their hostilities and restore diplomatic ties.
The Beijing-brokered detente between Iran and Saudi Arabia came after a bitter rivalry between the two influential Middle Eastern countries which had destabilised several countries in the region, including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Bahrain.
In the last two days, Beijing also hosted a delegation of Arab-Islamic foreign ministers to discuss a way forward to end the present crisis.
Outlining the outcome of the talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a media briefing on Tuesday that as this month’s rotating president of the UN Security Council, China will continue to strengthen coordination with Arab and Islamic countries to build consensus and galvanise more meaningful UN action on the situation in Gaza.
The Palestinian question is at the heart of the Middle East issue. Without a just settlement of the Palestinian question, durable peace and stability will remain elusive for the Middle East, she said.

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