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Netanyahu to visit China to boost trade ties

Beijing sees PM as vital to Mideast peace, after relative cool in bilateral ties

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to embark on an official visit to China next month, after a few years defined by relative coolness in the two states' bilateral relations, Yedioth Ahronoth revealed Sunday.

 

The last Israeli prime minister to go on a tour of the Far East country was Ehud Olmert in 2007.

 

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Netanyahu was reportedly eager to visit the country, regarded by many as the world's fastest growing economy, during his previous term as PM; yet the plan did not come to fruition due to, among other factors, Beijing's unhappiness with the impasse in the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

  

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He was invited on a tour of China in 2011, yet was forced to cancel the visit after receiving an invitation to a summit with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Barack Obama. He was again scheduled to visit China last year, this time the reason for the cancelation being an internal political crisis in the country.

 

On the heels of elections in both countries, Beijing reportedly believes Netanyahu to be vital to the reignition of the peace process, and has decided to invite him in order to spur positive developments in the Middle East.

 

Netanyahu, set to be accompanied by spouse Sara, was said to expect his visit to focus on two main issues: Beefing up the economic ties between the two countries and the Iranian nuclear threat.

 

The prime minister reportedly regards China, along with India, as potential prime destinations for Israeli export, and has urged his cabinet ministers to avoid foreign travel wherever possible with the exception of the two Far Eastern economic giants.

  

 

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פרסום ראשון: 04.21.13, 12:56
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