Xi Jinping

Netanyahu meets Xi Jinping in Beijing

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 May, 2013, 6:05pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 May, 2013, 6:06pm

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Thursday, during a five day visit that the newly installed Chinese leader said had already “yielded rich fruits”.

Netanyahu met Xi after the Israeli leader witnessed with China’s Premier Li Keqiang the signing of a series of trade and cultural deals the previous day.

The beginning of Netanyahu’s visit overlapped with a journey by Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, but the two Middle Eastern visitors did not meet each other while in China.

“You held very productive talks with Premier Li Keqiang, and the two sides reached agreement on many issues. So your visit has already yielded rich fruits,” Xi told Netanyahu.

China established diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992, but was the first country to set up an office in the Palestinian territories in the 1960s.

The last Israeli premier to visit China was Ehud Olmert in 2007, but Netanyahu had visited China before as prime minister in 1998.

“I came at an interval of 15 years and the success of China and the development is remarkable,” he told Xi.