China’s Mideast envoy urges Israel and the Palestinians back to negotiations

Chinese Middle East envoy Wu Sike said Sunday that China is willing to play a constructive role in bringing Israel and the Palestinians back to peace negotiations.

Wu, on a visit to the region, met with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Yitzhak Molcho, head of Israel’s negotiating team to the Amman exploratory talks with Palestinians earlier this year.

Wu noted that Israeli-Palestinian peace process should remain the focus in the Middle East, despite latest changes of international or regional situation.

China welcomes and supports recent meetings between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, in an effort to restart long- stalled talks, the Chinese envoy said, adding that his government hopes both sides show enough flexibility and create a favorable environment to resume peace negotiations.

Wu also discussed Syrian issue with Lieberman. Negotiation was the only way to solve the crisis in the Middle East, he noted.

Considering that military actions would damage the region’s stability and Syrian people’s benefits, Wu said that China supports peaceful solutions, brought up either by the Syrian government or the opposition groups.

Wu visited Syria last October and met several leaders of opposition groups. The leaders were against foreign military interference on Syria, which they believed would be counter- effective, Wu told Xinhua during an interview later.

Despite China’s vetoes earlier this year of two United Nations resolutions pressing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to abandon power, Wu said that China “shares a lot in common with Arab League and Israel on Syria issue,” with regard to ending violence against citizens.

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In order to solve the crisis peacefully, Wu urged the Syrian government to respond to its people’s reasonable needs and begin a national dialogue.

China is concerned with Israel’s intentions to attack Iranian nuclear facilities, Wu said. “Both sides are now cautious of the disastrous result of military confrontations. There’s still room for a peaceful solution.”

While stressing Iran’s right to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes, Wu urged Iran to comply with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and cooperate with the international community, so as to reduce current tensions through negotiations.

Xinhua

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