China, Saudi Arabia urge immediate cease-fire in Middle East

China urges all parties to the conflict in the Middle East to cease fire immediately, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo said in Beijing on Friday.

In his meeting with Saudi Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, secretary-general of Saudi National Security Council, Dai said China is strongly concerned about the current situation in the Middle East, noting that the pressing matter for the moment is to realize cease-fire immediately so as to create conditions for a proper solution to the conflicts.

Dai said the ever escalating conflicts between Lebanon and Israel have severely undermined the security and stability in the Middle East. China is strongly concerned about the current situation.

China has been always promoting the peaceful negotiations and solutions through multiple ways, and has provided emergent humanitarian assistance to Lebanon, he said.

Israel launched a massive bombardment and limited ground assault on Lebanese Hezbollah after the Shiite militant group abducted two Israeli soldiers on July 12. The conflicts caused severe casualties of both sides.

Lebanese Minister of Public Health Mohammed Jawad Khalife said on Thursday that about 600 Lebanese civilians had been killed in the on-going Israeli massive assault in Lebanon.

"China supports the United Nations and the international community to play an active role in resolving the conflicts, and hopes all the relevant parties can hold negotiations on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, the land-for-peace principle and the Arab peace initiative, so as to realize peace and stability in the Middle East," Dai stressed.

Bandar spoke highly of the efforts made by China in easing off the conflicts between Israel and Lebanon, and expressed his hope for a bigger role of China in this regard.

"Saudi Arabia is also seriously concerned about the current situation," he said, adding "the international community should impel all sides to the conflict to realize cease-fire immediately, and provide assistance to the Lebanese people."

Bandar also briefed the Chinese side on Saudi Arabia's opinions on the conflicts and its efforts to resolve the conflicts.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal urged the United States to seek an immediate cease-fire to the conflicts in Lebanon after meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in his U.S. visit.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah Ibn Abdul-Aziz on Tuesday also announced an allocation of 500 million U.S. dollars for reconstruction of Lebanon.

Source: Xinhua

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