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China makes active efforts to promote peace in Gaza
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The Chinese government is actively promoting the relief of tension in Gaza, and China is ready to work with the international community to bring all the parties concerned back to the negotiation table at an early date in a bid to achieve the peaceful, just and durable settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli issue, a Chinese envoy said in New York on Tuesday.

Zhang Yesui, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, made the statement as he was speaking at the closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council on the Gaza conflict, which has left more than 900 Palestinians killed and 4,000 others injured.

Zhang told the Security Council that the Chinese special envoy on the Middle East issue, Sun Bigan, began his visit to Egypt, Israel and Palestine on Sunday for mediation for peace in the region.

China is gravely concerned about the growing escalation of tension in Gaza, and it is regrettable to see that the new Security Council resolution, adopted last Thursday to call for an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire, went unheeded by warring parties, he said.

At present, the top priority is to achieve the full implementation of the UN truce resolution -- the immediate ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, a halt to the firing of rockets into Israel by the armed Palestinian faction, and unimpeded access of Gaza to the humanitarian relief goods, he said.

At the Tuesday council meeting, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefed 15 council members on his upcoming visit to the Middle East, which will take him to Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Kuwait.

(Xinhua News Agency January 14, 2009)

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