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China proposes long-term mechanism in Mideast peace: envoy
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08:27, June 23, 2009

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China is cautiously optimistic that the Mideast peace talks could be renewed in the near future under a more effective long-term mechanism, the country's special envoy on the Mideast issue Wu Sike said in an interview with Xinhua Monday.

"We hope that all the parties concerned could establish a long-term mechanism for the Mideast peace negotiations," Wu said, adding that "I think it is more effective than separate meetings."

"China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, will exert more efforts to help renew the peace negotiations under the current situation, in which we saw some positive signals."

On June 4, U.S. President Barack Obama envisioned "a new beginning" with the Muslim world in his landmark speech made in Cairo, in a bid to defuse the tensions between the two sides caused by his predecessor's controversial Mideast policy and "war on terror."

"Obama's speech is a good and comprehensive one in terms of attitude and wording," Wu said, adding "but the parties concerned hope that the United States, a very influential power in the region, could bring a substantial framework and change the words into acts in the next step."

On June 14, Netanyahu made a keynote speech at Bar Ilan University, in which he urged a demilitarized Palestinian state to recognize Israel as a Jewish country.

The new guideline, which came in response to U.S. President Barack Obama's endorsement to the two-state solution, was snubbed by Palestinians and other Arab nations that fret about Netanyahu's stance on Jerusalem and refugees' rights of return.

"I known that there are a lot of comments from Arabs, but I think the overall direction of the peace talks is positive and the two-state solution has become the common sense of international community," Wu said.

Wu urged all sides to take advantage of the current momentum and solve their differences patiently in the following negotiations.

"What Netanyahu said in his speech should not be regarded as the conditions of renewing the peace talks," Wu said. "Reconciliation and concession should be attained through negotiations that is the sole way out."

"I will talk with Israeli officials frankly about the peace process," a stop of construction of Jewish settlements will facilitate negotiations and help Israel obtain security in the long run, said Wu, who will visit the Jewish country during his on-going regional tour.

Citing his three-decade diplomatic experiences in the region, Wu said that military confront could yield nothing for any side involved but bloodshed and suffering of the civilians, on the other side, some traditional foes had endeavored to keep decades-long peace, which are good examples for the whole world.

Touching on the selection of Egypt as the first stop of his tour, Wu said that Egypt is one of the most important countries in the region and a "herald of peace," which has set a good example for other countries.

Meanwhile, "Egypt has done a lot of work in brokering the inter-Palestinian unity recently," he said, adding "a serious Israeli-Palestinian negotiation is hardly imaginable without a inter-Palestinian deal."

Earlier on Sunday, Wu met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abu Gheit and Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.

Wu, former Chinese ambassador to Egypt, was appointed as the special envoy in March this year to replace Sun Bigan.

He has been director of the Department of West Asian and North African Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and also the first Chinese plenipotentiary to the Arab League.

Wu's latest swing through the region also includes stops in the Palestinian territories, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Russia.


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