China condemns Israeli attack on UN observer post in Lebanon

(27 July 2006) - China condemns the Israeli attack on UN observer position in Lebanon that killed four UN observers and demands an end to all actions that might harm the UN positions, said Wang Guangya, Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nation Wednesday.

"We think any attack on UN positions and personnel is inexcusable and unacceptable," the ambassador told reporters.

Under the international norm, UN positions have to be protected, and therefore the government of Israel has the responsibility to protect the UN personnel there and to avoid any further actions that could harm the UN positions, he said.

He said that China is working with other Council members on a presidential statement to condemn the Israeli attack on UN position in Lebanon. He noted that almost all members are united in the sense that the Council should take action today, adding that agreement can be reached and a presidential statement will be issued Wednesday.

When asked if the Israeli attack is deliberate, the ambassador said the briefing of the incident by the UN Secretariat has made a clear case. He noted that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other senior UN officials have asked the Israeli government to ensure the safety of UN personnel, especially when there were signs that UN positions might become targets of Israeli attacks, yet the tragedy occurred.

"We regretted what has happened and condemned the attack on UN position there," he said.

Wang reiterated China's support for the Middle East peace process, and said China is deeply concerned with the recent escalation of violence in the region, which has put the peace process in jeopardy, and cost enormous civilian casualties and infrastructure damages.

"China urges all parties concerned to reach a cease-fire at an early date and exercise restraint to avoid any civilian casualties, " he said.

Source: Xinhua

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