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Premier Li welcomes Israeli Prime Minister

Updated: Mar 20,2017 7:10 PM

Premier Li Keqiang said China and Israel should strengthen cooperation in innovation and accelerate negotiations on Sino-Israel free-trade areas (FTA) to add momentum to bilateral relations.

He made the remarks while meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 20 during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Netanyahu is the first foreign leader Premier Li has received since the two sessions.

Premier Li said since establishing diplomatic ties 25 years ago, both countries have enjoyed stable bilateral relations with fruitful cooperation in various areas.

China and Israel agreed to develop an innovative comprehensive partnership, while promoting negotiations on establishing Sino-Israel FTAs, and strengthening communication and cooperation on international affairs, with an aim to safeguard peace and stability while achieving mutual development, according to Premier Li.

He also said that as a friend of both Israel and Palestine, China hopes to see the peaceful coexistence of the two sides and stability in the Middle East.

Netanyahu said that Israel is willing to work with China to further cooperate in innovation and sustain global scientific development.

He said Israel hopes to speed up negotiations on the free trade pact between the two countries, expand two-way investment and cooperation on education, transportation and a third-party market. He also welcomed Chinese companies to participate in Israel’s infrastructural construction.