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Israel and PA to resume peace talks in China?

By Missing Peace
Chinese Middle East envoy Wu Sike meets Israeli chief negotiator Tzipi livniChinese Middle East envoy Wu Sike meets Israeli chief negotiator Tzipi livni

Chinese media last week reported that the country’s special Middle East envoy Wu Sike is involved in efforts to help Israel and the Palestinians resume peace talks.

Both PA president Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are scheduled to visit Beijing at the beginning of May. Abbas will arrive in China on May 5th and Netanyahu is scheduled to land in Beijing on May 6th. The Chinese are reportedly working to set up a meeting between the two leaders.

Strangely enough  Israeli and international media did not report on Wu’s six day long visit to Israel and the PA. During that visit Wu held extensive talks with the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah and met with Israeli Minister of Justice Tzipi Livni who is in charge of the negotiations with the PA, and deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ze’ev  Elkin.

After the meeting with Livni and Elkin Wu said that China is willing to push Israel and the Palestinians to take some practical moves in order to create a good atmosphere for the resumption of the peace process.

He added that China is ready to cooperate with the international community in playing a role in helping Israel and the Palestinians build mutual trust and resolve issues through negotiations.

China’s new role as mediator between Israel and the Palestinians could give a positive impulse to the stalled peace process.  Until now the US has fulfilled this role but after Obama’s visit to Israel the Palestinians do not see his administration as an honest broker anymore. The EU is willing to fill the gap but Israel doesn’t trust the EU because of its pro-Palestinian stance

Both the PA and Israel have developed strong ties with Beijing over the past few years.
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