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Middle East Crisis

Palestinian envoy seeks 'special role' for China

China can play a "special role" in the Middle East, a Palestinian envoy said yesterday, following eight days of deadly conflict between Israel and militants in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Bassam al-Salhi, a representative of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, was speaking after talks in Beijing on efforts to upgrade his people's status at the United Nations and maintain calm in the region.

A cease-fire brokered by Egypt came into effect Thursday in Gaza -- which Abbas does not control.

Al-Salhi, also general secretary of the Palestinian People's Party, referred to Beijing as a "broker" and a "mediator" after talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

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