Palestinian envoy on way to China to discuss esclating crisis

  • Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times, Beijing
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  • Updated: Nov 21, 2012 18:14 IST

An envoy of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will arrive in China on Thursday to discuss the escalating fighting between Hamas and Israel.

Bassam al-Salhi, the general secretary of the Palestinian People's Party and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, will be in China for two days, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing.

'The two sides will exchange views' on China-Palestinian relations as well as the current situation in Gaza, Hua said of the visit.

Hua didn’t elaborate on the schedule of the meetings that al-Salhi is expected to hold with the Chinese leadership.

“China is paying great attention to the present situation in Gaza,” Hua said, adding: “China has been in close touch with Israel, Palestine and other countries, and has called on all sides, especially Israel, to exercise maximum restraint and cease fire as soon as possible to avoid the situation worsening.”

“We support the necessary steps taken by the international community, especially the U.N. Security Council,” she said.

“China will continue to use its own means to work hard to ameliorate the situation between Israel and Palestine and maintain peace and stability in the region,” she said.

Hua added that China also supports the Security Council “responding to calls from the international community, including the Arab world, to issue as soon as possible a consistent and beneficial message about the Gaza situation.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had called the Egyptian foreign minister "to support efforts of the Arab League and Arab countries to ameliorate the situation in Gaza", Hua said.

China, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council with veto powers has maintained close relations with the Palestinians for decades. In recent years, China-Israel defence ties have also improved.

Previous diplomatic efforts have failed to result in a deal to end Israel's offensive on rocket-firing militants in the Gaza Strip, part of violence that has cost 136 Palestinian and five Israeli lives, state media said.


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