Video: Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, on April 15, 2021 calls for efforts to advance peace in Yemen. (Xinhua)
"China welcomes Saudi Arabia's new initiative and appreciates the measures taken by Saudi Arabia to ease the situation in Yemen. We hope other parties will respond positively and initiate dialogue and negotiations on the specific content of the initiative as soon as possible," a Chinese envoy said.
UNITED NATIONS, April 15 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Thursday called for efforts to advance peace in Yemen with a focus on political settlement and alleviation of the humanitarian crisis.
The momentum for a political solution to the Yemen issue has been strengthened as Saudi Arabia has recently put forward a peace initiative and Oman has stepped up efforts to promote peace talks, said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.
At the same time, the military offensive in Marib is still going on; Saudi civilians and civilian infrastructure are still being attacked; the humanitarian crisis in Yemen continues. The positive momentum so far has not yet led to a meaningful political process to fundamentally improve the situation on the ground or substantially alleviate the plight of the Yemeni people, he told the Security Council.
Resolution of the Yemen issue must rely on political and diplomatic means, he said. "China welcomes Saudi Arabia's new initiative and appreciates the measures taken by Saudi Arabia to ease the situation in Yemen. We hope other parties will respond positively and initiate dialogue and negotiations on the specific content of the initiative as soon as possible. China supports the voice of the Security Council in this regard, which will reflect its support for the diplomatic efforts."
Photo taken on Feb. 14, 2021 shows a boy carrying the food donated by a charity group in Hajjah Province, north Yemen. (Photo by Al-Wafi Mohammed/Xinhua)
To solve the Yemen issue, countries in the region must play a role. China appreciates the efforts of Oman and other countries in the region to promote peace talks. China hopes that countries that have influence on parties to the conflict in Yemen will continue to play an active role, he said.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed last month a five-point initiative on achieving peace and stability in the Middle East, which supports a political settlement of Yemen and other hot-spot issues with countries and people in the region playing a central role. China calls on regional countries to strengthen dialogue, continuously improve the regional security environment so as to create favorable conditions for the restoration of peace in Yemen, Geng said.
To solve the Yemen issue, priority must be given to humanitarian needs, he said.
The international community must increase humanitarian assistance to Yemen. International donors must honor their commitments as soon as possible, he said.
All parties to the conflict must ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access to allow humanitarian supplies to arrive in the hands of those in need as soon as possible. They should also ensure unimpeded access to food, oil, and other imported commodities. China has noticed that the Yemeni government has approved four oil tankers to enter the port of Hodeidah and hopes that this can alleviate energy shortage in the region, said Geng.
Photo taken on Feb. 5, 2021 shows buildings destroyed in an air raid in Sanaa, Yemen. (Photo by Mohammed Mohammed/Xinhua)
The derelict Safer oil tanker under the control of Houthi rebels is an urgent issue. China hopes the Houthis will maintain communication with United Nations, confirm the relevant logistic arrangements within the prescribed timeframe for the technical team to board the vessel for inspections and repairs as soon as possible so as to avoid economic, humanitarian and marine environmental disasters, he said.
China has provided a large amount of food assistance to Yemen and signed an agreement on economic and technical cooperation with the Yemeni government. China will continue to provide rice and medical supplies to Yemen to help alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people, he said. ■