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Positive energy for progress

By Wu Sike | China Daily | Updated: 2013-05-17 08:08

China stresses that only by achieving just and comprehensive peace can long-term stability in the Middle East be achieved

From May 5 to 10, China hosted both Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. That China's new leaders received the two leaders shortly after taking office suggests Middle East affairs, especially the Palestinian question, have become a focus of China's diplomacy.

As a Chinese diplomat entrusted with the Middle East peace mission, I have realized that it is the common wish and demand of leaders of the three countries that have enabled the rare event. I visited Palestine and Israel in April and played my role of communication and coordination between the countries.

Abbas arrived as the first head of state from the Middle East to visit China after Xi Jinping became the Chinese president in March, and he gained Beijing's support for the core concerns of Palestinians. Netanyahu, on his second visit as prime minister, emphasized developing economic relations and expected Beijing to play a more active role in the Middle East peace process.

The intractable Middle East issue, which has already lasted more than half a century, has long adversely affected peace, stability and development in the region. Yet due to the political upheavals in a number of Arab countries in recent years, the peace process is in danger of being marginalized. However, the Palestinian question is a central concern of the Arab and Islamic world and has an overall significance in the Middle East. Fortunately, this year the international community has made renewed efforts to promote the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

By inviting both leaders to visit China, Beijing has taken the initiative and added a new dynamic to the peace process. Peace, stability and development are the common aspirations of countries in the war-torn region and resolving disputes through political channels is in line with the fundamental interests of all parties. The efforts of China's new leaders show Beijing's confidence and vision in promoting peace.

The four-point proposal presented by Xi reaffirms China's support for an independent Palestine based on the 1967 borders. It encourages the two sides to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of peace talks and build on the existing achievements, which include the principle of land for peace. It recommends the international community take an objective and fair position and make vigorous efforts to encourage peace talks.

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