Second flight in two days brings home Russians evacuated from Gaza

Second flight in two days brings home Russians evacuated from Gaza
Second flight in two days brings home Russians evacuated from Gaza

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - BEIJING: French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna met Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on Friday, as part of a short visit focused on the Israel-Hamas war as well as deepening exchanges between the two countries.
Colonna’s talks in Beijing come the same day that a truce between Israel and Hamas took effect.
“For us, all the hostages must be released. All, and not just 50,” Colonna said during a briefing with French journalists.
Paris has said that the conflict in the Middle East will be high on the agenda for Colonna and her Chinese counterparts.
“China is an actor with growing weight in the region” due to its “strong relationship” with Iran, a French diplomatic source said this week.

BACKGROUND

Beijing has this year sought to play a greater role in the Middle East, sending an envoy to the region to push for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

“The first thing we expect from China in this conflict is to join its efforts with ours to ensure that we avoid any regional escalation,” they added.
Beijing has this year sought to play a greater role in the Middle East, sending an envoy to the region to push for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Colonna met her counterpart Wang at Peking University in the afternoon, restarting a high-level China-France dialogue on other areas of cooperation.
Colonna then began formal bilateral talks with Wang, before a joint press conference in the evening.
France and China will sign a series of agreements in areas such as education, culture, university exchanges and health, Paris has said.
Beijing announced on Friday that French citizens would be among a number of countries granted visa-free entry to China for up to 15 days.
Citizens of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia will also be included in the scheme, beginning Dec. 1.
Previously, only citizens of Singapore, Brunei and Japan were granted visa-free entry for stays of fewer than 15 days.
Colonna said she was “delighted” by the news.
“This is a strong announcement that will greatly facilitate mobility between our two countries,” she said.
“Now that the shadow of the epidemic has dissipated, we are delighted to see the increase in mutual visits, contacts and exchanges between our two peoples,” Foreign Minister Wang said.
France’s top diplomat was earlier received by Premier Li under the chandeliers of Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, saying China and France shared “global responsibilities” as permanent members of the Security Council.
The two must “strive to find answers to major challenges, in particular the challenges of climate, biodiversity and anything that can ease tensions in the world,” she said.
Li, in turn, noted a “positive trend of Sino-French cooperation on all fronts.”
“This close cooperation between China and France has also injected a lot of positive energy and provided more certainty to the uncertain world today,” he added.
Europe should not be afraid of working with China because of competition, Wang said at a press briefing with Colonna.
“China’s position is clear, we will adhere to our support of Europe’s strategic autonomy,” Wang said when asked about China’s view of its relationship with Europe.

 

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