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China, Russia back MiddleEastQuartet efforts for Palestine-Israel peace
June 4, 2016, 5:54 am

Foreign Ministers and top diplomats from over 20 countries attended the International Meeting on the Settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in Paris on 3 June 2016 [Image: French Foreign Ministry]

Foreign Ministers and top diplomats from over 20 countries attended the International Meeting on the Settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict in Paris on 3 June 2016 [Image: French Foreign Ministry]

At a global meet in Paris, China and Russia have stressed on the primacy of the Middle East Quartet in assisting efforts towards a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Beijing is willing to work closely with the UN to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Paris, where the Middle East Peace Initiative ministerial conference was held on Friday.

Wang said China firmly supports the peace process in the Middle East, the two-state solution as the basis of the Palestinian question, the resumption of peace talks, and the role of the Middle East Quartet (the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia).

A Russian envoy said the Quartet are “now finalizing the draft report on the developments in the Palestinian-Israeli settlement”.

On Friday, France hosted a meeting, attended by representatives of the UN, Arab League, the Middle East Quarter and foreign ministers from around 20 countries, aimed at finding ways to revive the peace process between two sides. South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and US Secretary of State John Kerry were among those in attendance.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov who is also Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for the Middle East, attended the Paris meet.

Bogdanov warned that “we are fast approaching the point of no return”.

“The pause in the political dialogue between the parties is far too long. The two-state solution is jeopardized. Although it has not been removed from the agenda, the prospects of a just settlement on the internationally recognized legal basis are virtually fading away before our very eyes,” Bogdanov said.

Russia has also warned that the “divisions among the Palestinians” is an “impediment” to the peace process.

“Another negative factor impeding the peace process is the divisions among the Palestinians. This issue should be prioritized to ensure that the Palestinians are represented in the negotiations on the final status by a single united delegation,” Bogdanov said.

Earlier this year in January, Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for the establishment of a Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Beijing has said the Palestinian problem “should not be marginalised”.

“China supports the peaceful process in the Middle East [and] the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital being eastern Jerusalem,” Xi said in Egypt.

Since October 1, Israeli forces or settlers have killed 200 Palestinians, including suspected terrorists, unarmed demonstrators and bystanders.

Meanwhile, at least 28 Israelis have been killed mostly in stabbing attacks.

The BRICS countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, have backed the two-state solution for the conflict at international forums including the UN.

A two-state solution implies the existence of the State of Israel and State of Palestine within pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

Earlier last month, Israel’s military said its aircrafts struck infrastructure in Gaza used by Hamas. These direct clashes between Hamas and Israeli forces broke out for the first time since a devastating 2014 war that killed at least 2,200, mostly Palestinians.

Gaza remains effectively occupied as Israel retains control of its air space, seafront and all vehicle access, blocking trade and free movement for the territory’s nearly two million residents.

The Russian envoy Bogdanov referred to these May air raids at the Paris meet on Friday.

“The exchange of strikes between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza earlier this May, the most intense since the conclusion of the cease-fire agreement in August 2014, is yet another confirmation of well-known thesis. It implies that without a sustainable solution to the enclave’s problems, without lifting its blockade and restoring its infrastructure destroyed by Israel, inter alia, in summer 2014, the recurrence of confrontation cannot be ruled out,” Bogdanov said.

 

TBP and Agencies

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