China offers to facilitate Palestine-Israel peace talks

Beijing: Chinese foreign minister Qin Gang has told his counterparts from Palestine and Israel that China is ready to broker peace talks between them in Beijing’s latest move to emerge as a regional mediator following its role in helping Iran and Saudi Arabia reestablish ties after several years.

Qin held separate phone calls with Palestinian foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki, and his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, during which he spoke about “steps to resume peace talks”, telling the former that China was “willing to play an active role in this regard” and conveying to the latter that “China is ready to provide convenience for this”.

“China encourages both Israel and Palestine to show political courage and take steps to resume peace talks, and China is ready to provide convenience for this,” Qin, who is also state councillor, said, according to the official news agency, Xinhua.

“All parties should maintain calm and restraint, and stop excessive and provocative words and deeds,” Qin told Cohen, adding that the “…fundamental way out is to resume peace talks and implement the ‘two-state solution’.”

Qin told Maliki China “supports the strategic autonomy of Middle Eastern countries”, adding that China is willing to continue to make contributions to peace and stability in the Middle East.

Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have been stalled since 2014 and this month has witnessed renewed violence and deaths in the region, heightening tension even as Tel Aviv grapples with large-scale domestic protests.

“China has no selfish interests on the Israel-Palestine issue, and only hopes that Israel and Palestine can coexist peacefully and safeguard regional peace and stability,” Qin told Cohen.

Beijing is projecting itself as an international broker of peace after bringing hostile Tehran and Riyadh together for talks. (Hindustan Times)

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