NEW YORK (Oct. 1)
In an unprecedented meeting Wednesday evening between the Foreign Ministers of the People’s Republic of China and Israel, it was concluded that contacts between representatives of both countries will continue in the future.
The meeting between Shimon Peres, Israel’s Foreign Minister, and his Chinese counterpart, Wu Xuegian, was the first meeting ever between the Foreign Ministers of China and Israel. China and Israel have no diplomatic ties and China has been a strong supporter of the Arab side in the Arab Israeli conflict.
The meeting between the two officials took place at the Chinese Mission to the United Nations. It lasted one hour and 45 minutes. Although representatives of China and Israel have met in the United Nations in the last few months, the Peres-Xuegian meeting was the highest level of contact between China and Israel. Moreover, the Chinese publicly announced the meeting and allowed photographers to take pictures of the two officials at the end of their meeting.
Peres, addressing Jewish leaders at a meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations shortly after his meeting with the Chinese official, said that he discussed with him the prospects for an international peace conference on the Mideast. The Chinese Foreign Minister said that his government will support any framework for an international peace conference agreed to by the Arabs and Israel, Peres said.
China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and will, therefore, participate in any future international conference. According to Israeli diplomats, the Chinese Foreign Minister reiterated his government’s position that any international peace conference must include the Palestine Liberation Organization.