Xi Jinping calls for ceasefire, release of civilian captives to end Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza

Xi Jinping calls for ceasefire, release of civilian captives to end Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza

Beijing, Nov 21 (PTI) Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict, the release of all civilian captives and the implementation of a two-state solution for lasting peace in the strife-torn region.

Addressing the BRICS extraordinary virtual summit on the Palestine-Israeli issue, Xi said 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 will be no enduring peace and stability in the Middle East.

Xi made three proposals to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict which including all parties in the conflicts 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 China believes that the parties to the conflict must end hostilities and achieve a ceasefire immediately, stop all violence and attacks against civilians, release civilians held captive and act to prevent loss of more lives and spare people from more miseries.

Also humanitarian corridors must be kept secure and unimpeded, and more humanitarian assistance should be provided to the population in Gaza, he said.

He said that the collective punishment of people in Gaza in the form of forced transfer or water, electricity and fuel deprivation must stop.

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.

China calls for the early convening of an international peace conference that is more authoritative to build international consensus for peace and work toward an early solution to the question of Palestine that is comprehensive, just and sustainable, Xi said.

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 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. PTI KJV RUP AKJ RUP RUP

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