China's Mideast envoy visits Palestinian territory
RAMALLAH - Chinese special envoy to the Middle East Wu Sike on Saturday held talks with several Palestinian officials in a bid to push forward the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
The new Chinese leadership "backs the exerted efforts to push forward the peace process and to resume the stalled negotiations between the two sides based on a two-state solution," Wu told a news briefing in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
"China is always interested in the peace process and finding a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause," Wu noted.
According to Wu, China is willing to exert every possible positive effort in coordination with the Palestinians, the Arab states and the international community to establish a full sovereign Palestinian state.
Wu said that he had invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to visit China on May 5, which would be an opportunity to trade views over the latest development in the region and ways to coordinate backing the peace process.
"China backs the establishment of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital," he underlined.
Meanwhile, Tayeb Abdel Rahim, secretary-general of the Palestinian presidency, told reporters that he briefed the Chinese envoy over the exerted efforts to push forward the peace process, reiterating that the Palestinian side is ready to cooperate with any effort that aims to resume the talks with Israel.
"The resumption of talks need an Israeli recognition of the two- state solution based on 1967 borders, stopping settlement building, releasing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and solving other permanent status issues," said Abdel Rahim.
The senior Palestinian official added that upgrading the Palestinian representation in the United Nations to that of a non- member observer state "opened the doors for the Palestinians to join all the UN organizations in case Israel denies the basic principles of the peace process."
"We count on China's influential role, therefore we call on China to exert more efforts with other parties to get the peace process out of this deadlock and to rescue the region from unexpected negative consequences," said Abdel Rahim.
Earlier on Saturday, Wu held talks in Ramallah with senior Fatah movement leader Abbas Zaki, who briefed Wu over the Israeli violations against the basic principles of the peace process.
The two sides also discussed attracting Chinese investment to the Palestinian to back the Palestinian economy and create jobs opportunities.
Wu also met with Nabil Shaath, who is in charge of foreign relations in the Fatah movement. Shaath called on China "to play a more influential role in the peace process," adding in a press statement that halting Israeli settlement must be done before resuming any talks.
"Despite the marathon visits of US Secretary of State John Kerry to the region, so far a new initiative or plan to revive the peace process has not been crystallized in order to convince Israel to complete its full withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories," said Shaath.
Samer Anabtawi, a political analyst, told Xinhua that the Palestinian leadership "is looking forward to an effective and influential Chinese role in the peace process, which would help strengthen the Palestinian stance and create international balance in the region."
"China, a great and powerful country politically and economically, should play an essential role in the region and in the world," he said, adding that "I believe that there is a growing role of China in resolving the Palestinian cause as well as creating the needed balance."