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China offers to facilitate Israel-Palestinian peace talks

China offers to facilitate Israel-Palestinian peace talks
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Beijing, Apr 18 (AP) China’s foreign minister told his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts that his country is ready to help facilitate peace talks between the two sides, in its latest effort at mediation in the region.

 In separate phone calls to the two officials on Monday, Qin Gang expressed China’s concern over intensifying tensions between Israel and Palestinians and its support for a resumption of peace talks, the Foreign Ministry said in statements issued late Monday.

 Last month, Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a deal in China to restore diplomatic ties that were cut off in 2016. It was a dramatic moment of diplomacy for China that Beijing touted as evidence of its ability to be a diplomatic player in the Middle East.

 Qin stressed in his talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen that Saudi Arabia and Iran have set a good example of overcoming differences through dialogue, a statement about that phone call said.

 He told Cohen that Beijing encourages Israel and the Palestinians to show political courage and take steps to resume peace talks. “China is willing to provide convenience for this,” he was quoted as saying.

 Israel and the Palestinians have not held substantive peace talks on ending the century-long conflict in over a decade.


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