China Urges Israel to Resume Mideast Peace Talks

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JERUSALEM, April 24, 2009 – Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Thursday urged Israel to resume peace negotiations with the Palestinians, Syria and Lebanon, the Israeli presidency said.

“China supports the roadmap and the principles of land for peace,” he told President Shimon Peres, according to a statement by the presidency.

“I know that the new government in Israel needs time to crystallize its policies and I hope that you will reach wise decisions which will lead to peace and stability in the region,” he said.

Yang also stressed “Israel’s right to exist and to maintain its security.”

In addition to the peace process in the region, the two discussed Iran’s controversial nuclear ambitions as well as bilateral economic and technological cooperation, the statement said.

“China has a central role in the fight against Iran becoming a nuclear power. At the head of Iran is an extremist religious fanatic who supports terror, war and bloodshed,” Peres said.

“The efforts of Iran, which has many poor people, to develop long-range missiles must prevent the responsible leaders of the world from sleeping at night,” he added.

Israel is widely considered to be the Middle East’s sole nuclear armed power, although it has never confirmed or denied having an atomic arsenal and refuses to submit to international inspections.

On Wednesday, Yang held talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas in the West Bank town of Ramallah, where he stressed China’s support for the creation of a Palestinian state.

(source ANTARA/AFP)

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