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Envoy: China's five standpoints on Mideast "welcomed in principle" by Israel
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13:09, January 15, 2009

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China's five standpoints on the current Middle East situation "are welcomed and accepted in principle" by the Israeli side, a Chinese envoy said Wednesday.

Sun Bigan, China's special envoy on the Middle East issue, made the remarks in an exclusive briefing with Xinhua, hours after he held talks with Israeli officials on the latest developments of the embattled Gaza Strip.

Sun, who arrived in Israel Tuesday, said he put forward the five standpoints on the current Middle East situation during the talks.

"The five standpoints are welcomed and accepted in principle by the Israeli side," the Chinese envoy told Xinhua.

In the five standpoints, China calls on all parties concerned to abide by the UN Security Council Resolution 1860 and cease all military actions immediately to avert more casualties, Sun said.

Israeli President Shimon Peres(L) meets with visiting China's special envoy on the Middle East issue Sun Bigan(R) in Jerusalem, Jan. 14, 2009. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

Measures should be taken to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Sun said. He added that a stable channel for humanitarian supplies, including food, medicine and fuel, should be opened as soon as possible, and that the concerned parties should provide the necessary guarantee in this regard.

Parties concerned should establish, through negotiation, a ceasefire monitoring mechanism in Gaza and work to create durable security and stability there, the Chinese envoy said.

He added that Palestinian-Israeli peace talks should resume at the earliest time.

Sun also said efforts should be made to seek a solution to issues related to the final status of the Palestinian territories on the basis of mutual trust, so that an independent Palestinian state will be established as early as possible and the "two states" of Palestine and Israel will coexist peacefully.

Finally, the international community should increase mediating efforts for peace and promote a comprehensive, just and durable settlement of the Middle East issue, said Sun, adding that China is ready to work with the parties concerned and make unremitting efforts in this regard.

The five standpoints are welcomed and accepted in principle by the Israeli side, the Chinese envoy told Xinhua.

"China put forward the five standpoints after taking the current situation into account," Sun said, noting that the move is aimed at solving the Middle East issue both in the short term and in the long run.

As for reports saying that the Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement has presented a detailed vision to Egyptian mediators on a ceasefire in Gaza, Sun said, "If it is true, I personally welcome the move."

"Hope the move will help parties concerned hold negotiations and reach consensus as soon as possible, "Sun told Xinhua.

"China has no selfish interests in this regard, "said the Chinese envoy, adding that China hopes there is peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Earlier Wednesday, Sun held talks in Jerusalem with Israeli President Shimon Peres and other senior foreign ministry officials.

During the meeting with Peres, Sun said that China understands Israel's concerns for security, noting that it has been proven by history that the use of force does not lead to absolute security.

China hopes Israel responds actively to the peacemaking efforts made by the international community, calms the situation as quickly as possible and creates conditions for the Middle East peace process to return to the track of political solution, Sun said.

Peres praised China for its efforts to ease the current Middle East situation, saying Israel attaches importance to the five standpoints of the Chinese government and is willing to maintain close contact with China.

Sun held talks Monday in Cairo with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit on the latest developments in Gaza.

The two sides exchanged opinions on the crisis and vowed to work together to help ease the tension in the Palestinian enclave, Sun said during a press conference at the Chinese embassy in Cairo Monday evening.

After his visit to Egypt and Israel, Sun will head for the Palestinian territories for talks with parties concerned on the Gaza situation and explain the Chinese standpoints.

The offensive that began Dec. 27 has killed at least 1,017 Palestinians and wounded more than 4,600 others.

Source: Xinhua

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