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Chinese envoy urges progress on Mideast peace

JERUSALEM, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese special envoy on Middle East affairs Wu Sike held talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday, urging Israel and the Palestinians work together to push forward the Middle East peace process.

Wu said the Middle East peace process is at a crucial moment now, as Israel and the Palestinians have entered indirect talks. China welcomes this concrete step, which broke the year-long deadlock in the peace process, and hopes that the two sides seize this opportunity to reach real progress, he said.

China sees significance of mutual trust and flexibility in the talks, and asks Israel and the Palestinians to treat the negotiations seriously and put good faiths in them, stopping provocations and creating favorable conditions for fruitful talks.

As to the recent Gaza aid flotilla incident, which caused several casualties, Wu told Lieberman that China hopes Israel carry out UN resolutions in a comprehensive and serious manner, and lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, will communicate and coordinate with all concerned parties, including Israel, to play a constructive role in promoting the Middle East peace process, Wu said.

For his part, Lieberman said Israel is willing to work with the Palestinians to push the proximity talks into direct negotiations, and reach concrete results from them.

Israel is satisfied with the development of Israeli-Chinese relationship and appreciates the active role China is playing on the Middle East affairs, said the foreign minister, adding that he hopes both countries will keep close contact with each other and deepen the bilateral relations.

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