China has offered to organise peace talks between Israel and Palestine, according to the Asian giant’s foreign ministry.
Ministry statements said foreign minister Qin Gang expressed China’s concerns over rising tensions and support for renewed peace talks in phone calls with his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts.
In March, Saudi Arabia and Iran reached a deal in China to restore diplomatic ties that were cut off in 2016 – an outcome Beijing touted as evidence of its ability to be a diplomatic player in the Middle East.
He told Mr Cohen that Beijing encourages Israel and Palestinians to show political courage and take steps to resume peace talks.
“China is willing to provide convenience for this,” he was quoted as saying.
Israel and Palestinians have not held substantive peace talks in more than a decade.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is committed to expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank — which most of the international community considers illegal and an obstacle to peace — and several of his key allies are staunchly opposed to the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Mr Qin told Palestinian foreign affairs minister Riyad al-Maliki that China is willing to play an active role in the resumption of talks, a second statement said.
Violence in Israel and the West Bank has increased after an Israeli police raid on Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site, the compound home to the Al-Aqsa mosque.