Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Tuesday for an “international peace conference” to resolve the conflict between Israel and Hamas, during an extraordinary virtual summit of emerging Brics countries.
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“There can be no lasting peace and security in the Middle East without a just solution to the question of Palestine,” he said through an interpreter.
Therefore “China calls for the organization as quickly as possible of an international conference for peace” in order to achieve “an international consensus”.
This conference would make it possible to “work towards a rapid solution to the question of Palestine that is comprehensive, just and lasting,” he added.
“Since the outbreak of the last Israeli-Palestinian conflict, China has been actively promoting peace talks and a ceasefire,” the Chinese president stressed in his speech.
Beijing “has provided humanitarian assistance to help relieve the humanitarian distress in Gaza” and will continue to do so, he assured.
The war between Hamas and Israel was triggered by the attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement on October 7, of a scale and violence unprecedented in the history of Israel. According to the authorities, 1,200 people were killed and 240 others taken hostage that day, the vast majority civilians.
In retaliation, Israel vowed to “annihilate” Hamas, with its army relentlessly shelling the small territory. But the scale of the destruction and the toll of victims arouse the disapproval of part of the international community.
In total, 13,000 people were killed in Israeli bombings, including more than 5,500 children, according to the Islamist movement.
Historically, China has been friendly to the Palestinians and supported a two-state solution.
Its presence in the Near and Middle East has increased in recent years, and Beijing often seeks to offer its good offices in regional disputes.
This year, China sponsored an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran who, after long years of rivalry, agreed to restore their diplomatic relations and reopen their embassies.
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