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Egypt and Israel seek big role for China in Middle East peace process: Chinese envoy

Ahram Online , Friday 1 Jun 2018
Chinese envoy
Chinese Special Envoy for the Middle East Gong Xiaosheng
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China's Special Envoy on the Middle East Issue Gong Xiaosheng has said that in talks Friday in Cairo on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Egypt and Israel asked Beijing to play a big role in the peace process, Palestinian Press Agency SAFA reported.

During a press conference held at the Chinese Embassy in Cairo on Thursday, Gong, who is currently visiting Egypt, said his country is looking forward to increased coordination and cooperation with Cairo on Palestine and the peace process.

"Israel also proposed that China play a bigger role, and this is a positive development as Tel-Aviv always insisted that the United States is the only party involved in negotiations," Gong said.

The Chinese envoy voiced deep concern over recent tensions, referring to escalations between Palestinian factions and the Israeli Gaza Strip army over the past two days, the largest since the 2014 war.

"The international community should pay more attention to the Palestinian issue, as much as any other issue in the region, and efforts should be made to resume peace negotiations stalled since 2014," the envoy said.

"China supports the Arab peace initiative and all other initiatives in line with Palestinian interests,’’ Gong added, according to the agency.

The Arab peace initiative adopted at the Arab League summit in Beirut in 2002 calls for the withdrawal of Israel from the Arab territories occupied in 1967, the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and a settlement of the refugee crisis based on UN Resolution 194.

In response to a question on the health status of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whom the Chinese envoy met recently in Ramallah, Gong said that Abbas's health situation is better and his morale is high, the agency reported.

On May 14, the United States moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city of Jerusalem, prompting an outbreak in violence and ongoing protests that have left hundreds of Palestinians killed and injured.

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