China FM Says 'urgent' Steps Needed To Ease Gaza Crisis
Sumaira FH Published November 21, 2023 | 01:50 AM
Beijing, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 21st Nov, 2023) Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday the world must "act urgently" to calm the Israel-Hamas war as he hosted diplomats from Arab and Muslim-majority nations in Beijing.
A delegation of foreign ministers of the Palestinian Authority, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are in Beijing this week for talks aimed at a "de-escalation" of the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
"Let us work together to quickly cool down the situation in Gaza and restore peace in the middle East as soon as possible," Wang told ministers at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in the Chinese capital.
"A humanitarian disaster is unfolding in Gaza," Wang told the delegates, including the secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Following the outbreak of the war last month, Chinese officials, including Foreign Minister Wang, called for an immediate ceasefire and a "cooling down" of the situation.
China has historically been sympathetic to the Palestinians and supportive of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
And it has this year sought to play a greater role in the Middle East, facilitating a historic rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran and sending an envoy to the region to push for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
He noted that Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier told Wang that "if there's anything they can do to prevent the conflict from widening in terms of using the lines of communications that they have available to countries in the Middle East, we would welcome that."
"We always welcome any other countries that can play productive diplomatic roles. But the thing we hear from partners over and over again (is) there's no substitute for US leadership," he said.
"We have always firmly defended the legitimate rights and interests of Arab and Muslim countries, and have always firmly supported the Palestinian people's efforts to restore their legitimate national rights and interests," he said.
"China firmly stands with justice and fairness in this conflict."
The Palestinian Authority's foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki accused Israel of seeking to "bring to an end the Palestinian people's presence on what remains of its historical land".
And Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia's top diplomat, said Riyadh was "seeking more cooperation with our friends in China" to "work towards ending this crisis and this grave situation as quickly as possible".