Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, speaking at the Annapolis conference held here on Tuesday, announced five principles to promote the Middle East peace process.
First, respect history, accommodate each others' concerns and keep the peace talks on the right track. The state of Israel has been in existence for nearly sixty years, but for the Palestinian people, their dream of an independent Palestinian State has yet to come true. The Middle East is now undergoing profound changes, and the parties concerned must face up to reality and take bold steps in keeping with the trend of the times. It is important to start negotiations on the final status issue, work for the resolution of issues concerning the boundary, refugees and water resources, and establish an independent Palestinian state based on the Roadmap and the Arab Peace Initiative. This will not only serve the fundamental interests of the peoples of Palestine and Israel, but will also be a historical step towards achieving the peaceful coexistence of the Arab and Jewish nations, Yang Jiechi said.
Second, renounce violence, remove obstruction and remain firmly committed to the peace talks. Force cannot bring about durable peace. Only patience, dialogue and necessary compromise can beat swords into plowshares and make peace. The parties concerned must live up to their due responsibilities, show courage and vision andtake confidence-building measures. We hope that Palestine will achieve internal reconciliation. Only Palestinian unity can make their dream of peace come true, Yang Jiechi said.
Third, advance the peace talks in an all-round and balanced way and create an environment conducive to the peace talks. The Palestinian issue and other issues in the Middle East are inter-related and affect each other. Therefore, the peace talks between Israel and Syria and between Israel and Lebanon should be restarted in due course so that their talks and the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks will promote each other. It is also necessary to properly manage other hotspot issues in the region so as to create a favorable external environment for the peace talks and promote peace and stability in the entire Middle East, Yang Jiechi said.
Fourth, give priority to development and enhance cooperation tosolidify the foundation of the peace talks. The parties concerned and the international community should create conditions to strengthen business ties among countries in the region and ensure that people of Arab countries and Israel will truly share the benefits of peace. China calls on the international community to increase humanitarian assistance and development aid to Palestine, and we support the plan for regional economic cooperation proposed by relevant parties. We believe that an independent and prosperous Palestine will provide a solid basis for ensuring regional security, Yang Jiechi said.
Fifth, build consensus, increase input and enhance support for the peace talks. The international community should carry out close cooperation and establish a broad-based, balanced and effective multilateral mechanism to facilitate and support the peace talks. China welcomes all efforts that will contribute to the peace process, Yang Jiechi said.
Yang Jiechi added that as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, China is ready to work for the success of the conference and actively participate in its follow-up activities. China will, as always, play a constructive role in achieving peace in the Middle East. The Chinese Government will provide further free assistance to Palestine to advance the peace process and help the Palestinian people.
In addition to China, the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, nearly 50 countries, regions and international organizations attended the one-day Annapolis conference.