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Wang meets Palestine's foreign minister, affirms support for a two-state solution

By Wang Qingyun | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-14 07:18

Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Palestinian counterpart Riad al-Malki meet with reporters at the Foreign Ministry in Beijing on Thursday. Wang urged the resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel.Wang Zhuangfei/ China Daily

China supports the establishment of a Palestinian state and urges the resumption of peace talks between Palestine and Israel, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Beijing on Thursday.

In a news conference with his Palestinian counterpart Riad al-Malki following talks between the two, Wang said that seven decades after United Nations Resolution 181 was passed, it is "unfair" that Palestine is not yet an independent state with full sovereignty.

Palestine, like Israel, is entitled to statehood, Wang said, adding that "such historical injustice must be put right".

The status of Palestine remains the "root issue" of the Middle East despite other issues that have been popping up in the region, he said.

Wang urged an early resumption of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, which were halted in 2014, and called for an "immediate stop" of actions that undermine the talks and mutual trust.

The talks can start by handling smaller questions before moving to greater ones, Wang suggested, adding that "all parties that have traditional influence on the issue of Palestine should take the lead".

"China will never be absent from any efforts conducive to solving the Palestinian-Israeli issue," he said.

Al-Malki is in China for a four-day official visit that started on Wednesday, which comes less than a month after a visit to Beijing by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Wang said that during Netanyahu's visit, China also pushed Israel to handle the Israeli-Palestinian issue on the basis of a two-state solution.

Al-Malki told reporters that Palestine welcomes and encourages China to engage in "collective efforts to bring peace into our region".

"We do like to see more Chinese involvement in bringing about a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine," al-Malki said.

He added that the fact that China is "a good friend" to both Israel and Palestine will help the country play a role in helping solve the issue.

Wang said what China does in the Middle East is "not driven by geopolitical consideration at all".

"What we pursue is historical justice. What we work for is international conscience," Wang said, adding that China welcomes other countries, such as the United States, to spend more efforts on the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

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