China could hold Israel-Palestinian talks if asked

China says it's willing to set up a meeting between Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (AFP)

The Chinese government said it was willing to set up a meeting between the Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian president when the two leaders visit Beijing next week, if the sides expressed interest in doing so.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday at a regular briefing that China would be happy to facilitate a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas if they were willing to meet.

Abbas will be in China from Sunday to Tuesday, overlapping with Netanyahu’s Monday-Friday visit.

Negotiations for peace between the sides have been frozen for more than four years.

China has traditionally had a low profile in Middle East diplomacy but in recent years has tried to play a more active role in the region.

Last Update: Friday, 03 May 2013 KSA 12:35 - GMT 09:35