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China willing to help Israel, Palestinians resume peace talks

Xinhua

JERUSALEM -Chinese special envoy to the Middle East Wu Sike said here Monday that China is willing to exert efforts for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Wu made the remarks after holding separate meetings in Jerusalem with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who is in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians.

Wu said that one of the purposes of his current visit to Israel and the Palestinians is to make preparations for the upcoming visits to China of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, both set for early May.

The planned visits to China by Israeli and Palestinian leaders indicate that the new Chinese leadership devotes much attention to the Middle East issues and the development of the relations between China, Israel and the Palestinians, said Wu, who arrived here Sunday for a two-day visit.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords, yet the Middle East peace process has stalled for quite some time, with the Middle East region witnessing some significant changes, he said.

China has always stood for resolving the Palestinian issue through negotiations and has been much concerned over the prolonged stalemate in the peace process, Wu said, adding that China is willing to push Israel and the Palestinians to take some practical moves in order to create a good atmosphere for the resumption of the peace process.

Wu stressed that China has long believed that the Palestinian issue is the core of the Middle East issues and pushing for its solution will have a positive impact on the entire region.

He said China always backs the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in peaceful co-existence with Israel, based on the two-state solution, which is the way to settle the Israel- Palestinian issue in the long run.

China is ready to cooperate with the international community in playing a role in helping Israel and the Palestinians build mutual trust and resolve issues through negotiations, according to Wu.

Before his visit to Israel, Wu paid a four-day visit to the Palestinians, during which he met with a number of senior Palestinian officials, including Tayeb Abdel Rahim, secretary- general of the Palestinian presidency.