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CHINA’S top diplomat welcomed four Arab foreign ministers and the Indonesian one to Beijing today, saying his country would work with “our brothers and sisters” in the Arab and Islamic world to try to end the war in Gaza as soon as possible.
The ministers from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and Indonesia chose to start a tour of world capitals in Beijing, a testament to both China’s growing geopolitical influence and its longstanding support for the Palestinians.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the foreign diplomats that their decision to start in Beijing shows their high level of trust in his nation.
Prior to the opening of the talks Mr Wang said: “China is a good friend and brother of Arab and Islamic countries.”
He said: “We have always firmly safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of Arab and slamic countries and have always firmly supported the just cause of the Palestinian people.”
China has long backed the Palestinians and been quick to denounce Israel over its settlements in the occupied territories.
Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud called for an immediate ceasefire and the entry of humanitarian aid and relief to the Gaza Strip.
“There are still dangerous developments ahead of us and an urgent humanitarian crisis that requires an international mobilisation to deal with and counter it,” he said.
He said that they appreciated the UN security council-issued resolution, calling for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses in Gaza, “but we still need more efforts and co-operation.”
In March, Beijing helped broker an agreement that saw Saudi Arabia and Iran re-establish ties after seven years of tension.
The five foreign ministers will visit a number of capitals in an effort to pursue a ceasefire, get aid into Gaza and end the war, Prince Faisal said last weekend.
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