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China ready to facilitate Middle East peace: state media

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China’s foreign minister told his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts his country is ready to help facilitate peace talks, state media Xinhua reported Tuesday.

The separate phone calls between Foreign Minister Qin Gang and the Israeli and the Palestinian top diplomats comes amid recent moves by Beijing to position itself as a regional mediator.

Qin encouraged “steps to resume peace talks,” and said that “China is ready to provide convenience for this,” in a Monday phone call with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, Xinhua reported in a summarization.

And Qin told Palestinian foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki that Beijing supports the resumption of talks as soon as possible, according to a Xinhua summary.

In both calls Qin emphasized China’s push for peace talks on the basis of implementing a “two-state solution,” Xinhua said.

China has been on a recent diplomatic offensive, brokering the restoration of ties in March between Iran and Saudi Arabia — rivals in a region where the United States for decades has been the main diplomatic powerbroker.

Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have been stalled since 2014.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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