Tags: china | netanyahu | abbas | visit

Palestinian Abbas Visits China at Same Time as Netanyahu

Friday, 03 May 2013 07:16 AM


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BEIJING — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will visit China next week in a trip that will overlap with one by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, though the two haven’t announced plans to meet while there.

Abbas will visit May 5-7 on the invitation of President Xi Jinping, Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said at a briefing Thursday. She declined to say whether Abbas would meet with Netanyahu, whose visit will run from May 6-10, with stops in Shanghai and Beijing.

Peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been suspended since 2010, after Netanyahu declined to extend a freeze on building in West Bank settlements. China encourages the two sides to return to peace talks and the visits are “part of efforts to that end,” Hua said.

Asked if the two would meet during the trip, Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said the prime minister “sees this visit as a vehicle to further enhance the bilateral relations between Israel and China.”

Abbas will hold consultations with the Chinese leadership, according to a statement posted on the website of the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa.

On an April 29 trip to Jerusalem, China’s envoy to the Middle East peace process, Wu Sike, said his country is willing to “exert efforts” for the resumption of peace talks, China Daily reported.

Wu visited the Palestinian Authority before stopping in Israel, the newspaper said.

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