China plans to invite Palestinians and Israelis to talks

DUBAI (Reuters) – The Chinese government plans to invite Israelis and Palestinians to hold talks in China, Al-Arabiya television said on Wednesday, citing Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in an interview.

Wang, who began a tour of the Middle East this week, also expressed support for a Saudi initiative announced Monday to end the war in Yemen, according to the Dubai-based Saudi-owned channel.

China has offered itself several times in the past as an alternative to the United States when it comes to mediating between Israelis and Palestinians, putting forward proposals to end their decades-long conflict.

“We will invite Palestinian and Israeli public figures to have talks in China,” Wang said, quoted by al-Arabiya.

He did not elaborate and it was not immediately clear whether he had government representatives in mind.

On Yemen, Wang said: “We call for the Saudi initiative for a settlement in Yemen to be implemented as soon as possible.”

The Saudi peace initiative includes a nationwide ceasefire and the reopening of air and maritime ties with the territories held by the Houthi group in Yemen. However, the Houthis aligned with Iran have said the offer does not meet their demands.

(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Alison Williams and Gareth Jones)

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