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UN Security Council passes resolution demanding ceasefire in Gaza for Ramadan




The Security Council on Monday adopted a resolution that demands an immediate cease-fire in Gaza for the holy month of Ramadan.

The resolution, winning 14 votes in favor among the 15 members of the council, was the first Security Council resolution that demands or calls for a ceasefire in Gaza after the flare-up of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza on October 7, 2023.

The United States, which had previously vetoed three draft resolutions that would have called for or demanded a ceasefire in Gaza, abstained on Monday, allowing the draft to pass.

Hamas welcomed the adoption of the resolution. In a statement, it called on the Security Council to pressure Israel to commit to a ceasefire and to stop “the war of extermination” against the Palestinian people.

It also highlighted its readiness to engage in a prisoner exchange process immediately, emphasized the need to reach a permanent ceasefire and demanded the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip,

After the United States’ abstention, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the cancellation of a planned visit to Washington by a delegation comprising senior Israeli officials.

Netanyahu accused the U.S. of “retreating” from a “principled position” by allowing the vote to pass without conditioning the ceasefire on the release of hostages held by Hamas.

China calls for implementation of the resolution

A Chinese envoy on Monday called for the implementation of the just-adopted Security Council resolution that demands an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for Ramadan.

“Nearly six months after the outbreak of the conflict, over 32,000 Palestinian civilians have lost their lives. For those, Monday’s resolution comes too late. But for the millions of people in Gaza who remain mired in an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, this resolution, if fully and effectively implemented, could still bring long-awaited hope,” said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

“Security Council resolutions are binding. We call on the parties concerned to fulfill their obligations under the UN Charter and to take due action as required by the resolution,” he said. “We expect the states with significant influence to play a positive role on the parties concerned, including by using all necessary and effective means at their disposal to support the implementation of the resolution.”

A ceasefire for Ramadan is only the first step, it must serve as a basis for a permanent and sustainable cessation of hostilities, said the Chinese ambassador in an explanation of vote.

Differences between two drafts

“We did not agree with everything with the resolution,” the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said.

In her explanation of vote, Thomas-Greenfield said the resolution was “nonbinding.” She also said, “It was important for the Council to speak out and make clear that any ceasefire must come with the release of all hostages.”

China, together with Algeria and Russia, voted against a draft resolution tabled by the United States on Friday. “A comparison of the two drafts shows the differences,” said Zhang Jun in an explanation of vote.

Monday’s draft is unequivocal and correct in its direction, demanding an immediate ceasefire, while the U.S. draft was evasive and ambiguous. Monday’s draft demands an unconditional ceasefire, while the U.S. draft set preconditions for a ceasefire. Monday’s draft reflects the general expectations of the international community and enjoys the collective support of the Arab states, while the U.S. draft was rejected by the Arab states, Zhang said.

“The differences between the two drafts boil down to nothing but whether there should be an immediate and unconditional ceasefire and whether the collective punishment of the people in Gaza should be allowed to continue,” Zhang said. “On this issue, China, like most members of the international community, has been very clear from the very outset. Whether we voted against last Friday, or in favor of today, our vote has been based on our consistent position and proposition.”

Before the vote on the draft resolution tabled by the 10 elected members of the Security Council, Russia proposed an oral amendment but failed to obtain enough support in the council.

The Russian proposal would have restored the word “permanent” contained in the original draft to demand a Ramadan ceasefire that would lead to a permanent and sustainable ceasefire.

The United States voted against the Russian amendment. Eleven members abstained. Three voted in favor.

Countries react resolution on ceasefire

In a joint statement, the 10 elected members of the Security Council expressed the hope that Resolution 2728 will be implemented in good faith, by all parties, and will help ease the suffering of the population in Gaza.

Immediately after the adoption of the resolution, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for its implementation.

“The Security Council just approved a long-awaited resolution on Gaza, demanding an immediate ceasefire, and the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages. This resolution must be implemented. Failure would be unforgivable,” Guterres said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

In a statement, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry welcomed the UN decision and called on all parties to comply with their obligations under international law and to expand humanitarian aid to civilians in the entire Gaza Strip.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati also welcomed the adoption of the resolution, saying the decision “constitutes the first step towards halting Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip.”

Source(s): CGTN

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Israel moves into north Gaza Hamas stronghold, pounds Rafah





Israel’s tanks pushed into the heart of Jabalia in northern Gaza on Thursday, facing anti-tank rockets and mortar bombs from militants concentrated there, while in the south, its forces pounded Rafah without advancing, Palestinian residents and militants said.

The slow progress of Israel’s offensive, more than seven months after Hamas’ deadly cross-border raid prompted it, highlighted the difficulty of achieving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s aim of eradicating the militant group.

Armed wings of Hamas and its ally Islamic Jihad have been able to fight up and down the Gaza Strip, using heavily fortified tunnels to stage attacks in both the north—the focus of Israel’s initial invasion—and new battlegrounds like Rafah.

“We are wearing Hamas down,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said, announcing that more troops would be deployed in Rafah, where he said several tunnels had been destroyed.

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri responded that the group would defend its people “by all means.”

Israel says four Hamas battalions are now in Rafah along with hostages abducted during the October 7 assault, but it faces international pressure not to invade the city, where hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinian civilians are sheltering.

South Africa asked the top UN court to order a halt to Israel’s Rafah offensive, saying it was “part of the endgame in which Gaza is utterly destroyed.” Israel has denied South African allegations of genocide in Gaza and said it had complied with an earlier court order to step up aid.

The Gaza death toll has risen to 35,272, health officials in the Hamas-run coastal enclave said, and malnutrition is widespread with international aid efforts blocked by the violence and Israel’s de-facto shutdowns of its Kerem Shalom crossing and the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Israel says it needs to eliminate the organization after the deaths of 1,200 people on October 7 and to free the 128 hostages still held out of the 253 abducted by the militants, according to its tallies.

Source(s): CGTN

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President Xi: progress in China-Russia ties attributable to five principles





Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday that the progress in China-Russia relations is attributable to the two countries’ commitment to the five principles of mutual respect, win-win cooperation, lasting friendship, strategic coordination, and fairness and justice.

President Xi made the remarks during a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, following their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Describing the talks as “sincere and cordial,” Xi said they had a comprehensive review of the successful experience in developing the China-Russia relationship over the past 75 years since establishing diplomatic ties.

The China-Russia relationship has become a prime example of a new form of international relations as well as good-neighborly relations between two major countries, Xi told reporters.

Non-alliance, non-confrontation, not targeting any third party

President Xi said China and Russia are committed to mutual respect as the fundamental principle of relations and always render support for each other’s core interests.

Xi said he and Putin agree that the key to the two countries finding a new path to growing relations between major and neighboring countries lies in mutual respect and equality, as well as steadfast mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns.

“This is central to the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era,” he said.

The two sides will uphold the principles of non-alliance, non-confrontation and not targeting any third party, Xi added.

China and Russia will continue to deepen two-way political trust, respect each other’s choice of development path, and realize development and revitalization with each other’s firm support, he said.

Win-win cooperation

China and Russia are committed to win-win cooperation as the driving force of relations and work to foster a new paradigm of mutual benefit, Xi said.

Last year, the two-way trade exceeded $240 billion, close to 2.7 times that of a decade ago, he noted. “This is a good indication of the all-round cooperation of mutual benefit that continues to deepen between the two countries.”

Xi stressed that he and Putin agree that the two countries need to look for areas where their interests converge, tap into their comparative strengths, deepen the integration of interests and enable each other’s success.

The two countries need to make further structural improvements to their cooperation, consolidate the good momentum in trade and other traditional areas of cooperation, support the formation of platforms and networks for basic research, continue to unlock cooperation potential in frontier areas, step up cooperation on ports, transportation and logistics, and help keep the global industrial and supply chains stable, he said.

People-to-people and cultural exchanges

President Xi said that China and Russia are committed to lasting friendship as the foundation of relations and carry forward the torch of Sino-Russian friendship.

Both China and Russia have a long history and a splendid culture, he said.

“The works of Pushkin and Tolstoy are household names in China, and Peking Opera and tai chi are much loved by the Russian people,” said Xi.

By focusing on implementing the Roadmap for China-Russia Cooperation on People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Before 2030, the two countries are expanding people-to-people and cultural ties, he said.

Xi and Putin have also set 2024 and 2025 as China-Russia Years of Culture.

The two sides have proposed a series of cultural activities that are down to earth, close to people’s hearts and popular among them, and encouraged closer interactions between various sectors and at subnational levels, so as to enhance mutual understanding and affinity between the two peoples, Xi said.

Multipolarity and multilateralism

China and Russia are committed to strategic coordination as an underpinning of relations and steering global governance in the right direction, President Xi stressed.

The two countries are firmly committed to safeguarding the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, he said.

Xi said China and Russia should stay in close coordination and collaboration on multilateral platforms such as the UN, APEC and G20, and advance multipolarity and economic globalization in the spirit of true multilateralism.

With Russia chairing BRICS this year and China taking over the chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization later this year, the two sides will support each other’s chairmanship, build a high-quality partnership that is more comprehensive, close, practical and inclusive, and build the unity and strength of the Global South, he said.

Dedication to political settlement of hotspots

President Xi said China and Russia are committed to fairness and justice as the purpose of relations and dedicated to the political settlement of hotspots.

The Cold War mentality still exists, and unilateralism, hegemonism, bloc confrontation and power politics threaten world peace and the security of all countries, he said.

The two presidents are of the view that it is urgent to solve the Palestine-Israel conflict, he noted.

The UN resolutions must be earnestly implemented, and the question of Palestine must be solved on the basis of the two-state solution, said Xi.

The two sides believe that a political settlement is the right way forward for the Ukraine crisis.

China’s position on the issue is consistent and clear, including observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, respecting the legitimate security concerns of all parties, and building a new security architecture that is balanced, effective and sustainable, Xi said.

“China hopes that peace and stability will return to the European continent at an early date and stands ready to play a constructive role to this end,” he said.

On Thursday, the Chinese and Russian presidents also signed and issued the Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era in the Context of the 75th Anniversary of China-Russia Diplomatic Relations.

The leaders also witnessed the signing of a number of intergovernmental and interagency cooperation documents.

Source(s): CGTN

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President Xi: relations with Russia have been moving forward steadily





Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday hailed relations with Russia as the two countries celebrate 75 years of diplomatic ties.

With the concerted efforts of the two sides, China-Russia relations have been moving forward steadily, with enhanced comprehensive strategic coordination and further cooperation on economy and trade, investment, energy and people-to-people exchanges, at the subnational level and in other fields, President Xi said when meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during large-group talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Xi pointed out that Putin’s trip to China is his first foreign visit since he began his new term as Russian president, fully demonstrating the great importance Putin and the Russian government attach to developing China-Russia relations. China highly appreciates this, the Chinese president said.

Xi said China is advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts and moving faster to foster new quality productive forces through high-quality development, which will add new drivers to global economic growth.

Both China and Russia are permanent members of the UN Security Council and major emerging markets, Xi noted. It is the shared strategic choice of both countries to deepen strategic coordination, expand mutually beneficial cooperation and follow the general historical trend of multipolarity in the world and economic globalization, Xi told his Russian counterpart.

Xi said he believes the two sides should take the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties as a new starting point, further synergize development strategies and continue to enrich bilateral cooperation, to bring greater benefits to the two countries and their people.

The Chinese president also expressed his readiness to work with Putin to jointly steer the future direction of bilateral relations and make new plans for cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

Source(s)L CGTN

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