BEIJING: Top foreign policy officials from the Palestinian Authority and four Muslim-majority countries will visit China on Monday and Tuesday, Beijing announced Sunday.
Officials will include the foreign ministers of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Indonesia, as well as the secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
“During the visit, China will have in-depth communication and coordination with the joint delegation of foreign ministers of Arab and Islamic countries to promote a de-escalation of the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict, protecting civilians, and justly resolving the Palestinian issue,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said in a statement.
Israel has vowed to destroy the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which rules Gaza, over its October 7 attacks, which the Israeli government says killed 1,200 people and saw 240 hostages taken, in the worst-ever onslaught on the country.
In Gaza, the Hamas government says 12,300 have been killed in Israel’s relentless aerial bombardment and ground operations.
Most of the casualties on both sides are civilians.
Following the outbreak of war last month, Chinese officials including Foreign Minister Wang Yi have called for an immediate ceasefire and a “cooling down” of the situation.
China has historically been sympathetic to the Palestinians and supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
‘Russia’s Putin to join virtual G20 summit on Wednesday’
Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part in a virtual G20 leaders’ summit on Wednesday, after skipping the flagship in-person meeting in New Delhi in September.
“Vladimir Putin will take part in the virtual G20 summit,” Russia’s Vesti TV show said in a social media post Sunday, citing Putin’s schedule for the upcoming next week.
Putin did not travel to the last two G20 meetings — hosted by India in September and Indonesia last year, sending Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in his place.
In a statement, India said Saturday its Prime Minister Narendra Modi would chair a virtual summit on Wednesday to “take forward key, select outcomes / actions points from the New Delhi summit.”
Putin has taken few trips outside Russia since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader over the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children.
The G20 comprises 19 of the world’s largest economies plus the European Union and the African Union.
Vesti did not provide details on the nature of Putin’s participation in the summit.