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China hopes Palestine, Israel build trust, resume negotiations: envoy

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy to the United Nations Thursday called on Palestine and Israel to build confidence in peace and resume talks as soon as possible.

"The stalled peace talks will inevitably bring about intensified conflicts and bring both Palestine and Israel into the vicious cycle of violence against violence," Liu Jieyi, China's permanent representative to the UN, made the remarks at an open debate of the Security Council.

"China hopes that Palestine and Israel will consolidate their confidence in peace, stick to the strategic option of peace talks and take measures to rebuild mutual trust," Liu said.

China called on Israel to stop settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory, stop dismantling Palestinian housing, completely lift its blockade against the Gaza Strip and transfer the withheld tax revenue to Palestine so as to create the necessary conditions to re-launch the peace talks, Liu stressed, adding that "the reasonable security concerns of Israel should also be addressed."

The peace process between Palestine and Israel has been stalled since the last round of peace talks collapsed in April 2014. In December, the UN Security Council failed to adopt a Palestinian- backed resolution urging Israel to end occupation by the end of 2017. Palestine then started process to join international organizations, including the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Earlier this month, Israel decided to withhold tax revenue it collects on the Palestinian Authority's behalf as a punitive measure.

"China hopes that Palestine and Israel will meet each other half way and resume negotiations as early as possible so as to promote an early and proper settlement of the question of Palestine," he said.

The envoy said the Palestinian issue is the core of the Middle East issue and that its protracted absence of settlement "can lead to more violence and extremism in the region."

He called on the international community to "have the sense of urgency," strengthen coordination, explore all possibilities and form synergy so as to bring Palestine and Israel back to the track of peace talks.

Liu also said the Security Council should respond as early as possible to the call of Palestine, Arab states and international community by effectively undertaking responsibilities and playing an effective role in promoting peace talks, ending occupation and promoting the rebuilding of Gaza and taking action to promote progress in the question of Palestine.

He reiterated that China supports the endeavor of the Palestinian people to establish on the basis of the 1967 border an independent statehood with full sovereignty and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"We support Palestine and Israel in enjoying common peace and security. China has been exploring through its own ways and means all possibilities to talk to the parties concerned to promote peace talks," said Liu, adding that China is ready to strengthen cooperation with the international community so as to play a greater role in pushing for settlement of the Palestinian issue.

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