Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas will make a state visit to China next week, Beijing said Friday, after China expressed readiness to help facilitate Israeli-Palestinian Arab peace talks, AFP reported.
"At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, president of the state of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas will pay a state visit to China from June 13 to 16," foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying was quoted as having said on Friday.
"He is the first Arab head of state received by China this year, fully embodying the high level of China-Palestine good relations, which have traditionally been friendly," ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing later.
Abbas is an "old and good friend of the Chinese people", he added.
"China has always firmly supported the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights."
China's Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, recently told his Israeli and Palestinian Arab counterparts that his country is ready to help facilitate peace talks between the two sides.
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.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)