Shaghai, China
Shaghai, ChinaiStock

China's Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, told his Israeli and Palestinian Arab counterparts that his country is ready to help facilitate peace talks between the two sides, The Associated Press reports.

Qin made separate phone calls to the two officials on Monday, according to the report in which he expressed China's concern over intensifying tensions between Israel and Palestinian Arabs and its support for a resumption of peace talks.

Qin stressed in his talks with Foreign Minister Eli Cohen that Saudi Arabia and Iran have set a good example of overcoming differences through dialogue, a statement about that phone call said.

He told Cohen that Beijing encourages Israel and the Palestinians to show political courage and take steps to resume peace talks. “China is willing to provide convenience for this,” he was quoted as saying.

Cohen expressed his country's commitment to reducing tensions, but said the problem appeared to be difficult to resolve in the short term, the Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said.

Israel's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Qin and Cohen discussed “the importance of maintaining quiet at the Temple Mount, particularly in the final days of Ramadan.”

It said that Cohen conveyed “the threat that we see in Iran’s nuclear program” and called on China to help prevent Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Qin also told Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of foreign affairs, that China is willing to play an active role in the resumption of talks, a second statement said.

On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin confirmed Qin's outreach to the two officials.

“It is never too late to do the right thing,” he said, as quoted by AP.

China has more than once offered to mediate talks between Israel and the PA, but has also expressed support for a two-state solution, with an independent, fully sovereign Palestinian state, bounded by the pre-1967 borders and with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

In 2013, China presented a four-point proposal for a solution to the Israel-PA conflict. The Chinese proposal focused on an independent Palestinian state, negotiations as the only way to peace, the principle of "land for peace", and on guarantees the international community should provide for the progress of the peace process.

Israeli-PA peace talks have been stalled since 2014, when the PA unilaterally applied to join international organizations in breach of the conditions of the talks.

In September of 2020, the PA said it began preliminary diplomatic steps to hold an international conference in an attempt to bypass talks with Israel, though nothing has yet materialized as a result of this effort.