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ARAB LEAGUE, CHINA PRESSES FOR CEASEFIRE IN GAZA

CAIRO, Aug 4 — Secretary General of the Arab League Dr Nabil Al-Arabi and visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi strongly urged intensifying international efforts to reach ceasefire in Gaza Strip and settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

In a Sunday joint press conference with Wang following their talks here, Al-Arabi voiced hope that China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, will play an active role in stopping atrocities in Gaza and putting an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

“What is going on in Gaza is unacceptable to human conscience,” Al-Arabi said.

“The escalating brutal aggression by Israel against civilians and stifling siege on Gaza pose a serious challenge not only to the region but to the entire world order,” he pointed out.

The League chief reminded that under international law, any occupied country is entitled to resist the occupying power.

He reiterated the call for Israel to respect the rules of the international humanitarian law given that scores of Palestinian civilians were brutalized and schools and hospitals were targeted by the Israeli forces.

Al-Arabi added that his talks with the Chinese minister dealt also with other Middle East issues, including the deteriorating situations in Libya and Syria.

He highlighted the need of implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 2165 which provides for immediate and unhindered access of aid to the some 10 million people trapped in the Syrian conflict.

On the Arab-Chinese ties, he they are “very successful,” calling on China to offer more support to the Arab issues.

“China is the only major power that defends the Arab rights including the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” he affirmed.

On his part, Wang said both China and the Arab countries are unanimous on the need to work together for finding a permanent settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

He noted that he discussed with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri earlier Sunday the Egyptian initiative for ceasefire in Gaza.

Wang promised that his country would continue doing its utmost in order to stop the fighting in Gaza in coordination with other UNSC permanent members.

China is looking forward to closer partnership with the Arab side in order to serve the mutual interests and promote cooperation in all fields, he added.

Wang Yi reaffirmed on Sunday his country’s support to the Egyptian initiative for ceasefire in Gaza Strip.

During his meeting with Egyptian President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi, Wang, now on a visit to Egypt, said China is eager to see Cairo hosting the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian factions, Egyptian Presidential Spokesman Ihab Badawi told reporters here.

The Chinese minister expressed rejection of the killing of innocent civilians, reaffirming support to the Egyptian efforts to restore calm in Gaza.

He regretted the collapse of the 72-hour humanitarian truce, Badwi disclosed, noting that President Al-Sisi reaffirmed commitment to continued mediation in order to stop the bloodshed.

The talks between the two sides also dealt with the combat against terrorism and the situations in the Middle East, including conflicts in Libya, Iraq and Syria, he added. –

SOURCE: KUNA