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Chinese president ‘looking forward’ to Netanyahu meeting

Beijing's ambassador conveyed the message in a meeting with the Israeli PM on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds an autographed copy of Chinese President Xi Jinping's book that Ambassador Cai Run gave him during their meeting in Jerusalem, July 26, 2023. Credit: Prime Minister's Office.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds an autographed copy of Chinese President Xi Jinping's book that Ambassador Cai Run gave him during their meeting in Jerusalem, July 26, 2023. Credit: Prime Minister's Office.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted China’s Ambassador to Israel Cai Run at his office in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

The ambassador delivered a message from Xi Jinping that the Chinese president is “looking forward” to their meeting in Beijing later this year, a spokesperson for Netanyahu said.

During the meeting with Cai, Netanyahu was given an autographed copy of Xi’s four-volume “The Governance of China.” 

“The ambassador told Prime Minister Netanyahu that President Xi read with interest and appreciation what the prime minister wrote in his memoir about China-Israel relations,” the spokesperson said.

Netanyahu will make his first visit to China in six years later this year, where he is expected to meet with Xi and other senior government officials. 

Beijing brokered the rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran in March and has shown an interest in playing a role in finding a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Last month, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas visited the Chinese capital for talks.

The Israeli leader will discuss efforts to normalize relations with Riyadh during the China trip, which the U.S. administration has taken a leading role in attempting to secure. 

Netanyahu has not visited the White House for a meeting with President Joe Biden since taking office at the end of December, although earlier this month the two leaders spoke by phone and Biden extended an invitation to meet later this year.

“They have agreed that they will meet, probably before the end of this year, and all the details of the wheres and the whens are still being worked out,” John Kirby, U.S. National Security Council spokesman, told reporters during the White House press briefing after the phone call.

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