Netanyahu: ‘Progress in talks with the US on settlement construction’
Prime Minister Netanyahu ended his visit to China and is on his way back to Israel; prior to boarding the plane, he said, ‘Significant progress has been made regarding the construction of settlements in the deliberations with the United States.’
During his visit, Netanyahu participated in a business-economic forum with more than 600 Israeli and Chinese businesspeople. "There has been a dramatic change since my first visit to China more than 20 years ago. The streets were full of bicycles, there were very few cars, and mostly old buildings. The tremendous power and progress China has made is palpable, despite all of its challenges and problems," Netanyahu said. "During this period, Israel has not remained stagnant; it has become one of the leading centers of global innovation, a global technological powerhouse."
"I think China has an incredible ability to claim its rightful place and so it does, on the global stage. We are the perfect little partner for you in this endeavor—and we are eager to be working with you,” added Netanyahu. "In the coming days, we will sign a series of agreements with the government in order to promote collaboration between us and examine how we could assist China in its plans, and how China could of course allow us to participate in its large projects. I believe it is a match made in heaven.”
The prime minister's official visit to Beijing marked the 25th anniversary of China-Israel diplomatic relations. On Monday, he received a festive welcome at the People's Hall in the Chinese capital. "This is an opportunity to exchange points of view and see how we can work together to promote security, peace, stability and prosperity," Netanyahu told the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Li Keqiang, who replied: "The Jewish and Chinese people are two of the world's greatest nations."
The Palestinian issue was also discussed at the press conference. "China has no personal interest in the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but we would like to see the conflict resolved in a proper and expedited manner," said Deng Li, director general of the Department of West Asian and North African Affairs at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, adding that the solution would have to be "coordinated with the UN and the international consensus."
Deng was then asked if the Iranian issue came up in conversation with Netanyahu, and what was China's position on Israel's call for imposing sanctions on Iran and canceling the nuclear agreement between it and the superpowers. Deng replied, "The issue of Iran came up in the conversation, and China's stance has always been clear: The nuclear agreement between the powers regarding the Iranian nuclear program should be applied, and the starting point is containing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Implementing the agreement will contribute to world peace."
(Translated and edited by N. Elias)