Foreign Minister Livni met with Chinese envoy to the Middle East, Mr Sun Bigan.

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)

In her meeting today (Monday, April 16) with the special Chinese envoy to the Middle East, Mr. Sun Bigan, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni said, "There is no intention that Arab states should replace direct Israel-Palestinian channels, but they certainly can and should support them." 

She further stated: "As Israel is providing a political horizon for the Palestinians, so should the Arab states provide a political horizon for Israel, now, at this moment in time, even before the end of the conflict. In this manner, the Arab world will be required to strengthen the moderate Palestinians on issues requiring resolution and compromise."

At the start of the meeting, the Foreign Minister thanked the Chinese envoy for agreeing to meet with the families of the abducted soldiers, and asked to hear of his impressions of his visits to Saudi Arabia and to the Palestinian Authority.

In reference to Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, the Foreign Minister said, "There is nothing more symbolic than the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day to strengthen the world’s resolve in preventing the Holocaust-denying regime of Iran to obtain nuclear weapons."

With regard to negotiations with the Palestinians regarding the political horizon, Minister Livni said that "Israel and the Palestinians are discussing the essence and characteristics of the future Palestinian state. Within this framework, Israel will raise the subject of its security interests that must be addressed during the process, especially in light of the arms smuggling into the Gaza Strip."

She further stated that "The Palestinians certainly have various economic requirements which they would like to raise in regard to the characteristics of the future state. That is the common denominator upon which discussion can and should be held, instead of starting initially with the more sensitive and less solvable issues."