Ready to facilitate Palestine-Israel peace talks, China says

Al-Aqsa mosque located in old city of Jerusalem. [File Photo]

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.

The separate phone calls between Chinese foreign minister, Qin Gang, and the Israeli and Palestinian top diplomats comes amid recent moves by Beijing to position itself as a regional mediator.

Qin encouraged “steps to resume peace talks,” and said that “China is ready to provide convenience for this,” in a Monday phone call with Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen, state media agency Xinhua reported.

In his conversation with Palestinian foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki, Qin is reported to have said that Beijing supports the resumption of talks as soon as possible.

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.

In February, Beijing produced a peace plan for Ukraine after talks between president Xi Jinping and Russsia’s Vladimir Putin. It urged all parties to avoid nuclear escalation but critically did not suggest Russia withdraw its forces.

While western leaders largely dismissed the proposal, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy cautiously welcomed the plan, but said it would only be acceptable if it led to Putin pulling his troops out from all occupied Ukrainian territory.

Pertinently, this year till February,  at least 55 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to The Associated Press. That puts 2023 on a path to surpass the 150 people killed in 2022.

In late January, an Israeli military raid that it said was targeting militants in the crowded Jenin refugee camp killed 10 people, including 61-year-old woman.

Earlier in March, Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic relations after secret talks in Beijing mediated by the Chinese government, the development was later announced by the two countries later.

Click to comment
To Top