China plans to invite Palestinians and Israelis for talks - Al-Arabiya

FILE PHOTO: China's State Councilor Wang Yi meets with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Guilin
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DUBAI (Reuters) - The Chinese government plans to invite Israelis and Palestinians to hold talks in China, Al-Arabiya TV channel quoted Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday as saying in an interview.

Wang, who started a Middle East tour this week, also voiced support for a Saudi initiative announced on Monday to end the war in Yemen, according to the Saudi-owned, Dubai-based channel.

China has offered itself several times in the past as an alternative to the United States when it comes to mediating between Israelis and Palestinians, coming up with proposals to end their decades-old conflict.

"We will invite Palestinian and Israeli public figures to have talks in China," al-Arabiya quoted Wang as saying.

He did not elaborate, and it was not immediately clear whether he had government representatives in mind.

On Yemen, Wang said: "We call for implementing the Saudi initiative for a settlement in Yemen as soon as possible."

The Saudi peace initiative includes a nationwide ceasefire and the reopening of air and sea links with the territories held by the Houthi group in Yemen. However, the Iran-aligned Houthis has said the offer falls short of their demands.

(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Alison Williams and Gareth Jones)