Chinese envoy calls for peaceful solution to Palestinian-Israeli conflict

11:36, March 26, 2011      

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets with visiting Chinese Middle East special envoy Wu Sike in the West Bank city of Ramallah, March 25, 2011. Wu Sike will visit Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Qatar from March 23 to April 2. (Xinhua/Fadi Arouri)

Visiting Chinese Mideast envoy Wu Sike said here Friday that China hopes for a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through negotiations.

Despite recent developments in the Middle East, the decades-old feud between the Israelis and the Palestinians remains the core issue in the region, Wu said at a press conference following talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

China unswervingly backs the Palestinian people's efforts to establish an independent and sovereign state and achieve national reconciliation among different factions, he said.

Beijing urges all relevant parties to create appropriate conditions and restart the stalled Middle East peace process as soon as possible, Wu said, adding that Israel should stop settlement expansion in Palestinian territories.

The parties involved should comply with relevant UN resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the two-state solution when negotiating a settlement, the envoy stressed.

A peaceful solution to the protracted conflict will not only serve the interests of the Palestinian people but contribute to regional peace and stability, he said.

Abbas, for his part, thanked China for its support for the Palestinian struggle for statehood, and stressed that the Palestinian side appreciates the international community's efforts to bring forth a Palestinian state and halt Israel's settlement expansion.

Abbas also briefed Wu on the Palestinian side's preparations for next month's meeting of the Middle East Quartet, which groups the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States.

During his visit to the Palestinian territories, Wu also met with Saeb Erekat, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Wu, on a Middle East tour, visited Israel on Thursday. He will also travel to Syria, Lebanon and Qatar.

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