Wang Yi Holds Talks with the Delegation of Arab-Islamic Foreign Ministers

On November 20, 2023, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with the delegation of Arab-Islamic foreign ministers consisting of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki and Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Hissein Brahim Taha in Beijing.

Wang Yi said the fact that the delegation chose China as the first leg of their tour for international mediation shows deep trust in China and embodies the fine tradition of mutual understanding and support between the two sides. China is a good friend and brother of Arab and Islamic countries. China has always firmly upheld the legitimate rights and interests of Arab and Islamic countries and firmly supported the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights and interests. In regard to this conflict, China has firmly stood on the side of justice and fairness, has been working hard to de-escalate the conflict, protect civilians, expand humanitarian aid, and prevent humanitarian disasters, and has been calling for a return to the two-state solution and the early settlement of the Palestinian question. Today marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Palestine. China appreciates Arab and Islamic countries for their active mediation efforts for peace, and stands ready to work with them to make unremitting efforts for an early ceasefire in Gaza, the easing of the humanitarian crisis, the release of the detainees and an early, comprehensive, just and enduring settlement of the Palestinian question.

The foreign ministers of Arab and Islamic countries present briefed Wang on the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit. Noting the large number of civilian casualties and continued humanitarian disasters in Gaza, the international community should take responsible actions as soon as possible to promote an immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, ensure unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid and supplies to Gaza, protect innocent Palestinian civilians and prevent the forced relocation of civilians in Gaza. Arab and Islamic countries spoke highly of China's long-standing just position on the Palestinian question and appreciated China's efforts as the rotating presidency of the United Nations (UN) Security Council to facilitate the adoption of the first Security Council resolution since the outbreak of the current Palestine-Israel conflict. They look forward to closer coordination with China to prevent the crisis from spreading, restart the peace talk process, promote the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the basis of the two-state solution, avoid a vicious cycle of violence for violence, and achieve enduring peace and stability in the Middle East. Arab and Islamic countries expect China to play a greater role in ending the Palestine-Israel conflict, resolving the Palestine-Israel issue and achieving fairness and justice.

Wang Yi said, China firmly supports the diplomatic efforts of Arab and Islamic countries. He put forward China's proposal on addressing the current crisis in Gaza and resolving the Palestinian question:

The pressing task now is to fully implement relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly and achieve an immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilities. A ceasefire should not be a diplomatic rhetoric. It is a matter of life and death for the people in Gaza. A ceasefire should be achieved as a top priority. This is the pressing need of the people in Gaza, the wish of the overwhelming majority of countries, and the unanimous voice of all peace-loving people around the world.

Parties concerned should earnestly abide by international law, especially international humanitarian law. China opposes any forced displacement and relocation of Palestinian civilians. Israel should stop its collective punishment of the people in Gaza and open humanitarian corridors as soon as possible to prevent a wider humanitarian disaster.

Wang Yi stressed that any arrangement concerning the future and destiny of Palestine must be based on the consent of the Palestinian people and accommodate the legitimate concerns of regional countries. Any solution to the current situation should not deviate from the two-state solution and should be conducive to regional peace and stability.

The UN Security Council should heed the call of Arab and Islamic countries and take responsible actions to de-escalate the situation. As the rotating presidency of the Security Council, China will continue to strengthen coordination with Arab and Islamic countries to build consensus and push for further meaningful actions by the Security Council on the situation in Gaza.

Wang Yi said the fundamental reason for the cycle of conflict between Palestine and Israel is that the Palestinian people's right to statehood and survival and their right of return to their homes have been ignored for a long time. The way out is to implement the two-state solution and establish an independent Palestinian state. China calls for an early convening of an international peace conference with greater scale, scope and effectiveness, and a timetable and roadmap for this purpose. The Palestinian question is at the heart of the Middle East issue. Without a just settlement of the Palestinian question, there will be no enduring peace and stability in the Middle East. China will continue to stand firmly on the side of Arab and Islamic countries and on the side of international fairness and justice, and continue to make positive efforts to promote peace between Palestine and Israel and peace and stability in the Middle East.