|Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Makes Five-point Proposal to Promote Mideast Peace Process(04/29/09)|
On April 26, 2009, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi made a five-point proposal to push forward the Middle East peace process in an exclusive interview with Xinhua in Damascus.
Yang, who has visited Egypt, the Palestinian territories, Israel and Syria, said in the exclusive interview that China has been closely following the situation in the Middle East and he has had in-depth exchanges of views with concerned parties on various issues of the region during his Middle East trip. The Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip at the end of 2008 has brought heavy casualties and instability to the region, which shows once again that if the Middle East issue is not fundamentally solved, there will be no peace and security in this region, he said. Currently, the international community is paying more attention to the Middle East issue. Israel has formed a new government and the two main Palestinian factions have been holding talks to realize reconciliation.
Yang said under such circumstances, China advocates advancing the Middle East peace process in the following five aspects. First, the concerned parties should adhere to the peace talks, and firmly promote the peace process on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, the "land for peace" principle, the "Road Map" plan, and the Arab peace initiative. Second, the parties should take positive measures to restore stability and accumulate mutual trust, so as to create conditions for the development of peace process. Third, China believes the two-state solution should be maintained and calls for an early establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the two countries of Palestine and Israel to live in harmony. "This is the ultimate way out for the Palestinian issue, which can give guarantee to the Middle East peace and security," Yang said. Fourth, the international community should continue to pay due attention to the Middle East issue, and deliver its support to the peace talks, the inter-Palestinian unity and economic growth. Fifth, the peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel, Syria and Israel, Lebanon and Israel should advance in a coordinated way in order to achieve comprehensive peace across the Middle East region, Yang said. "As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will continue to maintain close communication and coordination with parties concerned to play a constructive role in pushing for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Middle East issue," Yang added.
On his Middle East tour, Yang said the four nations he has visited are all influential countries in the Middle East region and all of them have maintained friendly cooperative relations with China. The trip helped deepen mutual understanding and promote bilateral ties. The four nations pledged to attach great importance to ties with China, vowing that in the new situation, they are ready to continue to maintain bilateral friendly exchanges with China, build political trust, expand mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas and enhance communication and coordination in international and regional affairs.
Yang said consensus was also reached on coping with the global financial crisis during his Middle East trip. Yang said he has introduced to the leaders of the four nations China's views on the ongoing financial crisis and the measures it has taken, adding that China is ready to expand economic and trade cooperation with the Middle East nations, explore new mechanisms and means of cooperation and turn challenges into opportunities based on equality, mutual benefit and win-win outcome. He said all parties concerned spoke highly of China's important role in tackling the financial crisis, pledging to work closely with China to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation. Both sides also vowed to further expand cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, energy, infrastructure construction and human resources development, in a bid to push bilateral economic and trade relations to a new level and eliminate the negative impact of the global financial crisis as soon as possible.
Yang said his Middle East trip played a constructive role in promoting the Middle East peace process. During the trip, he had in-depth exchanges of views with the leaders and foreign ministers of the four Middle East nations as well as LAS Secretary-General on the current Middle East situation. He also enunciated China's proposals on the current Middle East issue. He hoped relevant parties could stick to the peaceful negotiation and accumulate mutual trust in a bid to advance the Middle East peace process. All the parties appreciated China's just position and constructive role in the issue.
The 4th ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) to be held in the fourth quarter of 2009 in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh will be another gathering of FOCAC family after the FOCAC Beijing Summit in 2006.
Yang said that the ministerial meeting will comprehensively assess the implementation of the outcome of the 2006 Beijing Summit and make new planning for China-Africa cooperation in the next three years. This meeting will be of great significance to furthering China-Africa relations and strengthening China-Africa cooperation in the new situation. China expects that the meeting will play a positive role in deepening the new type of China-Africa strategic partnership and pushing for the sustainable development of the Forum.
Yang said Egypt is the host of the ministerial meeting with China as its co-host. China and Egypt are keeping in close contact with each other on the overall planning and preparations of the meeting. China will continue to strengthen coordination and cooperation with African countries based on the principle of equal consultation to ensure the success of the meeting and push China-Africa cooperation to a new level.