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China, Egypt to strengthen consultations on Mideast peace
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China and Egypt agreed on Monday that both countries should strengthen bilateral consultations and coordination on major international and regional issues, the Middle East peace process in particular.

Meeting with his Egyptian counterpart Ahmed Abul Gheit in Washington, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said that the convening of the Middle East conference, to be held in Annapolis, Maryland, on Tuesday, is the result of joint efforts by all parties concerned.

It reflects the wishes of the international community to find a solution to the final status of Palestine through negotiations and establish an independent Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel, Yang said.

The international community should encourage Israelis and Palestinians to rebuild mutual trust through continuous peace talks and speed up negotiations on the final status issues on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, the land for peace principle, the Middle East roadmap peace plan and the Arab peace initiative, he said.

China, which shares similar views and common interests with Egypt on many international and regional issues, is willing to keep frequent communications with the Egyptian side and make joint efforts in moving the peace process forward, the Chinese foreign minister said.

Gheit said that Tuesday's Middle East conference in Annapolis is essential for peace process in the region.

He said that both Israelis and Palestinians should seize the opportunity to build mutual trust and kick off serious negotiations so that a peace agreement could be reached at an earlier date.

As a major nation of influence in the world, the Egyptian minister said, China should play an important role on the Middle East peace issue. He said that Egypt is willing to enhance exchanges and coordination with China on the Middle East peace process.

Yang and Gheit, both are here to attend the Annapolis conference, also expressed satisfactions over the overall development of bilateral relationship and agreed to further strengthen friendship and cooperation between the two countries.
(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2007)


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