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03 June 2024, 10:19

Chinese, Arab leaders urge cease-fire in Gaza

BEIJING, 3 June (BelTA - China Daily) - China and Arab countries made a strong call on Thursday for a cease-fire in Gaza and reiterated support for the restoration of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people as well as the establishment of an independent State of Palestine.

The call was made in a joint statement between the two sides on the issue of Palestine, which was one of the three outcome documents of the 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum held in Beijing.

The meeting was co-chaired by Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Mauritanian Foreign Minister Mohamed Salem Ould Merzouk and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

The statement expressed China's and Arab states' concern over the humanitarian crisis caused by the prolonged Gaza conflict, and stressed their consensus on ending hostilities, ensuring humanitarian aid and opposing the forced relocation of Palestinian people.

The statement also expressed firm support for Palestine's full membership in the United Nations and promoting the early settlement of the Palestinian question on the basis of the two-state solution.

Calling the Palestinian question the core of the issues in the Middle East, Wang said that China will continue to stand with Arab nations to uphold justice and work toward a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question at an early date.

This round of Palestine-Israel conflict has lasted for eight months, with more than 100,000 civilians killed or injured and millions of people struggling to survive.

Merzouk, the Mauritanian foreign minister, said at a joint news conference with Wang and Gheit that the Arab states and China agreed to work together to ease the suffering of people living in Gaza.

"We also feel the sincerity and seriousness of China in restoring peace and security in the region," he added.

Gheit expressed appreciation for China's position on the Palestinian issue, saying that the Arab world hopes China will continue its support for Palestine.

He also thanked China for its support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as the multiple shipments of humanitarian aid that China has sent to the region.

In addition to the hot spot issue, the two sides also discussed issues including economic and social development, and expressed willingness to strengthen the institutional construction of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, including on infrastructure, energy, agriculture, tourism and human resources.

China and the Arab states pledged at the ministerial meeting to upgrade and accelerate the construction of a China-Arab community with a shared future to make it a benchmark of win-win cooperation, Wang told reporters.

The two sides will continuously expand the flow of technology, capital, products and personnel in order to bring together people from the two sides, he said.

China has granted zero-tariff treatment to 98 percent of taxable products from the least-developed Arab states, and has provided training in various fields for more than 3,400 professionals from Arab countries, he added.

During the ministerial meeting, Wang expressed support for Arab nations in accelerating their industrialization and said China stands ready to construct more key infrastructure projects and implement more projects to benefit the Arab people.

The country is ready to deepen cooperation with Arab nations in energy, trade and investment, and high-tech industries, and to strengthen exchanges in areas including governance, public health, youth and education, he added.
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