Beijing: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is invited to visit China for the fourth time with the authorities in Tel Aviv intimating about their leader’s anticipated trip to Beijing, according to Prime Minister’s office Tuesday.
The projected visit’s announcement was made when there was a strain in US-Israel relations with President Joe Biden not inviting Netanyahu for a visit after the Israeli’s reelection in November.
Netanyahu’s office said in a statement: “The projected visit will be Prime Minister Netanyahu’s fourth visit to China and the American administration was updated one month ago.”
It also added that the premier had also informed a bipartisan Congressional delegation about the trip, and told the Congress members that the “US will always be Israel’s most vital and irreplaceable ally.”
The strain in relation came as the Biden administration has been pressing Israel for a two-state solution with the Palestinians, criticising settlement expansion under the incumbent Israeli leader.
the 73-year-old PM came into power again in December with a coalition between his Likud party and extreme-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies, including hardline settlers.
Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have been stalled since 2014.
Biden has also called on Netanyahu to reach a compromise on his controversial legal reforms, denounced by critics as a threat to democracy, and which the government has vowed to advance after mediation efforts collapsed.
China has become diplomatically active in the Middle East, as it mediated the deal which led to the restoration of bilateral ties in March between Iran and Saudi Arabia — the two heavyweights of the region where the US was considered as a major actor.
Earlier this month, Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas also visited China, and in April China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang held telephone talks with top Israeli and Palestinian diplomats, telling them that Beijing “was ready to help facilitate peace talks.”
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also visited China last week, where Chinese leader Xi Jinping said there was progress in the strained relationship with the US.
Please visit our website London Institute of Peace Research for latest peace news