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Chinese envoy holds talks with Israeli president
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China's Mideast envoy Wu Sike held talks on Thursday in Jerusalem with Israeli President Shimon Peres on bilateral relations, regional peace situation and other issues.

Calling his host an old friend of the Chinese people, Wu expressed appreciation for Peres' active and important role in promoting Sino-Israeli ties and advancing the Middle East peace process, and voiced hope that as China's special emissary he could help bring forth an early resumption of Mideast peace talks.

Wu said that as the region is currently facing historical opportunities, the Chinese leadership, government and people hope that relevant parties could seize these opportunities and resume negotiations on the basis of the two-state principle, so as to pave the way for the renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the realization of comprehensive Mideast peace.

For his part, Peres recalled the development of Sino-Israeli friendship and cooperation over the recent years, and stressed that Israel attaches high importance to the friendship between the two countries and is willing to further consolidate bilateral ties and deepen bilateral cooperation.

On the Mideast peace issue, the president said Israel cherishes the historical opportunities for the region and has decided to accept the two-state principle. He added that his country is ready to cooperate with relevant parties for an early resumption of peace talks, and will prudently handle the complex situation and show enough patience for the realization of regional peace.

Meanwhile, Peres stressed that as China is an important balancing power in the world, Israel hopes China will continue to play a significant role in the Middle East peace process.

Wu also met with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and opposition leader Tzipi Livni.

Israel is the third leg, after Egypt and the Palestinian territories, of Wu's first Mideast trip since taking his post, which will also take him to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Russia.

(Xinhua News Agency June 26, 2009)

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