Mahmoud Abbas will visit China next week, Beijing says

Xi government trying to position itself as mediator in region

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Reuters
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will make an official visit to China next week, Beijing said on Friday.

“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 spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

The announcement comes after China's Foreign Minister told his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts in April that Beijing was ready to facilitate talks between the two sides.

Qin Gang reportedly told Mr Abbas that his country wants talks based on the two-state solution to resume as quickly as possible, according to Chinese state media.

Tension between Israel and Palestine has been particularly high in recent months, following the election of the most far-right government in Israel's history, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This year has seen episodes of rocket fire between Israel and Palestinian militants based in Gaza and neighbouring countries.

There are also fears that the Palestinian Authority is losing control in the West Bank, the area it governs, as a result of mounting disaffection among Palestinians who view it as ineffective.

Updated: June 09, 2023, 11:12 AM