China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has told a visiting delegation of Arab and Muslim-majority nations that Beijing is willing to help “restore peace in the Middle East.”
“Let us work together to quickly cool down the situation in Gaza and restore peace in the Middle East as soon as possible,” Wang averred.
Officials from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, Palestine and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation are in China as part of a tour that is calling for an end to fighting in Gaza and the delivery of more humanitarian aid into the territory.
The delegation, which plans to meet officials from the permanent members of the UN Security Council, is also seeking to raise pressure on Western countries to reject Israel’s characterisation of its military campaign in Gaza as self-defence.
The Chinese Foreign Minister told the foreign diplomats that their decision to start in Beijing shows their high level of trust in his nation.
“China is a good friend and brother of Arab and Islamic countries,” Wang said in opening remarks before their talks began.
“We have always firmly safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of Arab (and) Islamic countries and have always firmly supported the just cause of the Palestinian people.”Wang Yi
Wang said that a humanitarian disaster was unfolding in Gaza that “affects all countries around the world, questioning the human sense of right and wrong and humanity’s bottom line.”
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said the international community needs to shoulder the responsibility to stop Israel.
An Arab-Islamic summit hosted by Saudi Arabia earlier this month demanded an end to the siege of Gaza, access to humanitarian aid, and a halt to the sale of arms to Israel while condemning “Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, war crimes and barbaric and inhumane massacres by the occupation government”.
Wang Yi Stresses Need For Ceasefire
During his meeting with a group of foreign ministers from key member nations of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that a ceasefire “is no longer a diplomatic rhetoric, but a matter of life and death for the people of Gaza.”
The Chinese top diplomat said a cease-fire is the “need of the people of Gaza … the wish of the vast majority of countries, and the unanimous voice of all peace-loving people around the world.”
He emphasized that a cease-fire “should be implemented as a priority goal.”
Calling for the need to abide by international law and international humanitarian law, Wang stated, “China opposes any forced displacement and relocation of Palestinian civilians.”
“Israel should stop the collective punishment of the people of Gaza and open a humanitarian corridor as soon as possible to prevent a wider humanitarian disaster,” he said.
“Any arrangement involving the future and destiny of Palestine must obtain the consent of the Palestinian people and must also accommodate the legitimate concerns of regional countries,” the Chinese foreign minister noted.
Moreover, Wang Yi disclosed that China fully supports the call for a two-state solution in Gaza by the recent Islamic-Arab summit in Riyadh.
He added, “Any solution to the current situation must not deviate from the ‘two-state solution’ and should be conducive to regional peace and stability.”
“The United Nations Security Council must listen to the calls of Arab and Islamic countries and take responsible actions to cool down the situation,” he said.
As the rotating chair of the Security Council, Wang said that China “Will continue to strengthen coordination with Arab and Islamic countries, build consensus, and promote the Security Council to take further meaningful actions on the situation in Gaza.”
READ ALSO: War Fatigue Plagues Ukrainian Ambitions