“It is a big deal, to put it in diplomatic terms. The (UN) envoy (for Yemen) had a good, positive visit to Iran. We hope that this creates a climate that is conducive to enshrining a political path toward peace in Yemen,” said a UN spokesman.
UNITED NATIONS, March 15 (Xinhua) — The China-brokered agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran on the restoration of diplomatic relations represents an opportunity for the resolution of the conflict in Yemen, said a UN spokesman on Wednesday.
Asked how optimistic UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is about the possibility of the Saudi-Iran agreement leading to a breakthrough in Yemen, Stephane Dujarric, his spokesman, said the agreement “is clearly an opportunity.”
“It is a big deal, to put it in diplomatic terms. The (UN) envoy (for Yemen) had a good, positive visit to Iran. We hope that this creates a climate that is conducive to enshrining a political path toward peace in Yemen,” said the spokesman.
While the truce in Yemen has not been formally extended, the positive impact of the truce has continued, he noted. “We haven’t seen major clashes. We’ve seen greater humanitarian access. We’ve continued to see civilian flights. These are all good things, but they need to be built upon and built upon quickly.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the top UN envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, in his briefing to the Security Council, welcomed the Saudi-Iran agreement.
“Allow me to also take this opportunity to welcome the recent agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran to resume diplomatic ties, which was facilitated by the People’s Republic of China. This dialogue and good neighborly relations are important for the region and for Yemen,” he said.
The parties must seize the opportunity presented by this regional and international momentum to take decisive steps toward a more peaceful future, he said via a video link.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi militia stormed several northern cities and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa. A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in the Yemeni conflict in 2015 to support the Yemeni government.
Chinese envoy: Immediate ceasefire in Gaza is the universal call
A Chinese envoy said Thursday that an immediate ceasefire in Gaza is the universal call of the international community and the overwhelming consensus of Council members.
Two days ago, the Council once again missed an opportunity to push for a ceasefire in Gaza because of the veto of an Algerian-drafted resolution by the United States, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, stressing that “the realization of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza is an urgent requirement to save innocent lives and to prevent a wider war.”
The envoy said that China has noted that the U.S. has introduced a new draft resolution and hopes that the United States will adopt a responsible attitude, and respect the established consensus of the members of the Security Council.
The core of the Council’s action must be the immediate realization of a ceasefire, and the relevant signals must be clear, unambiguous and unmistakable, rather than evasive and covert, he told the Security Council.
“What the Council needs at this time is strong determination, not just negotiating skills,” Zhang emphasized.
Zhang also pointed out that China is gravely concerned by the recent repeated public dismissal of the two-state solution by some Israeli politicians and their rejection of any international effort toward independent Palestinian statehood.
Noting that “Gaza is an inalienable part of Palestine, and the two-state solution is the bottom line of international justice and the only viable path toward the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli issue,” he said that China urges Israel to stop without delay eroding the foundation of the two-state solution, “halt the forced displacement of Palestinian civilians, and cease the searches, arrests, and raids in the West Bank.”
The historical wrongs suffered by Palestine must be righted. Palestine’s aspiration for independent statehood must be fulfilled. China supports Palestine in becoming a member of the United Nations as soon as possible, and calls for the convening of a larger, more authoritative, and more effective international peace conference to push for a comprehensive, just, and lasting solution to the question of Palestine, he said.
Arab states condemn U.S. for vetoing UNSC resolution on Gaza ceasefire
Arab states have condemned the United States for vetoing another United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, as looming Israeli attacks on the southernmost Gazan city of Rafah raise concerns that the humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave may deepen.
During an emergency session of the UN Security Council held in New York on Tuesday, the draft resolution put forward on behalf of Arab states by Algeria won 13 votes in favor among the 15 members of the Security Council. The United States voted against it, while Britain abstained.
“The U.S. veto, which defies the will of the international community, will give an additional green light to Israel to continue its aggression against our people in the Gaza Strip and to carry out its bloody attack on Rafah,” the Palestinian presidency said in a statement carried by Palestine’s official news agency WAFA on Wednesday.
Secretary-General of the Arab League (AL) Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Wednesday voiced his “deep regret” over the U.S. move, the third time since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas conflict in October last year that the United States interfered to fail a draft resolution aimed to reach a ceasefire.
The U.S. positions undermined the credibility of the international system and contributed to the paralysis witnessed by the United Nations, Aboul Gheit was quoted as saying in an AL statement.
Egypt and Qatar, having been actively brokering deals between Israel and Hamas since their conflict began, have expressed their regret.
Egypt strongly denounced the “selectivity and double standards in dealing with wars and armed conflicts in various regions of the world,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry slammed the U.S. veto as “arbitrary and disgraceful,” accusing the U.S. of being hypocritical, as it claimed to support human rights while allowing the Israeli “killing machine” to continue its attacks on Palestinian civilians.
Jordan, which borders Israel and has normalized ties with Israel, expressed on Tuesday its regret and disappointment at the failure of the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
“All those impeding such calls should review their policies and calculations because wrong decisions today will have a cost on our region and our world tomorrow. This cost will be violence and instability, ” Algeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Amar Bendjama was quoted by the UN news as saying on Tuesday.
The resolution was put forward at a time when Israel has signaled its intention to conduct a ground operation in Rafah, Gaza’s southernmost city that shelters about 1.4 million Palestinians, to “eliminate” Hamas and rescue Israeli hostages who were taken by Hamas militants in October.
While visiting the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops on Tuesday in southern Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed that his country will continue the fighting until all goals are achieved. “There is no pressure – none that can change this,” he said.
Israel’s reported plan for an assault on Rafah has sounded alarm bells globally, with many countries urging restraint or cancellation of the operation.
Regional countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain, voiced deep concern over the potential offensive on Monday.
Twenty-six EU member states called for an “immediate humanitarian pause that would lead to a sustainable ceasefire” in the besieged Gaza Strip, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in Brussels on Monday.
U.S. adding to crisis
Despite the mounting calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, the Biden administration is preparing to send a new package of weapons to Israel, which is estimated to be worth tens of millions of U.S. dollars, the Wall Street Journal reported last week, citing anonymous U.S. officials.
“The Americans are not doing anything practical to stop the (Israel-Hamas) war,” said Youssef Diab, a political analyst from the Lebanese University.
The repeated trips to Israel by U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, as well as the U.S. financial and military support for Israel, have given Israel the green light to continue the war on Gaza and kill more children, he said.
Objection to cease-fire in Gaza equals license to kill: Chinese envoy
Following the U.S. veto on a Security Council draft resolution that would have demanded an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, a Chinese envoy said Tuesday that objection to a cease-fire in Gaza is nothing different from giving the green light to the continued slaughter.
The draft resolution won 13 votes in favor among the 15 members of the Security Council. Britain abstained.
China expresses its strong disappointment at and dissatisfaction with the U.S. veto, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations.
Algeria, on behalf of the Arab states, put forward the draft resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, the immediate release of all hostages, guaranteed access to humanitarian supplies, and the rejection of forced displacement. Such a resolution, based on the minimum requirements of humanity, is urgently required by the situation on the ground and deserves the support of all Security Council members, he said in an explanation of vote after the vote.
Algeria, demonstrating reason, sincerity, and an open attitude, held lengthy and extensive consultations with all parties on the draft resolution and took on board many constructive ideas, which made the draft resolution more balanced, he said. “The outcome of today’s vote clearly shows that on the issue of a cease-fire to halt the fight in Gaza, it is not that the Security Council does not have an overwhelming consensus, but rather it is the exercise of veto by the United States that stifles the council consensus.”
The U.S. veto sends a wrong message, pushing the situation in Gaza into a more dangerous one, said Zhang.
The U.S. claim that a resolution would interfere with the ongoing diplomatic efforts is totally untenable. Given the situation on the ground, the continued passive avoidance of an immediate cease-fire is nothing different from giving the green light to the continued slaughter, he said.
While the draft resolution has been vetoed, the spillover of the conflict is destabilizing the entire Middle East region, leading to rising risks of a wider war. Only by extinguishing the flames of war in Gaza can the world prevent the fires of hell from engulfing the entire region. The Security Council must act quickly to stop this carnage, said Zhang.
The Security Council must take action to push for a cease-fire. This should not be a matter of debate, but rather a moral obligation that the council cannot shy away from. It is a legal responsibility that the council must assume. Even more so, this is a political requirement that the council must fulfill in accordance with the UN Charter, he said.
“The veto cannot muffle the strong call for a cease-fire and an end to the war. The Security Council cannot stop its work to uphold justice and fulfill its responsibilities just because of the veto,” he said.
China urges Israel to heed the call of the international community, abandon its plans for a Rafah offensive, and stop the collective punishment of the people of Palestine. China expects countries with significant influence to have fewer political calculations, but rather to be truly impartial and responsible, and to make the right choice to push for a cease-fire in Gaza. China calls on the international community to pool all diplomatic efforts to give the people of Gaza a chance to survive, give the people of the entire Middle East region a chance to have peace, and give it a chance for justice to be upheld, said Zhang.
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