Photo: Flash90, Reuters

Israeli, Chinese Presidents hold first ever talks

The telephone conversation was conducted in a friendly and positive spirit,” said a statement from the Israeli President’s Office.

By Erin Viner

Israeli President Isaac Herzog and President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China discussed opportunities to enhance bilateral ties, while noting the historic occasion of the first-ever phone call between the presidents of their 2 countries.

Israel and China will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations next year. President Herzog and President Xi invited one another to visit their respective countries in tribute to the upcoming milestone, according to an official readout of call.

The Chinese President recalled how his counterpart’s late father Chaim Herzog, who was Israel’s 6th President, had been the first Israeli head of state to visit China upon the formalization of relations, and President Isaac Herzog expressed pride over his father’s role in the momentous event.

After thanking President Xi for a warm letter of congratulations for his birthday this past September, the Israeli leader also expressed his deep admiration for Chinese culture and the Chinese people.

Recognizing that Israel and China are two ancient civilizations that have much to contribute to the world, both leaders expressed hope for greater  collaboration in the future in the cultural, economic, tourist and other sectors.

The 5th China-Israel Joint Committee for Innovation Cooperation will be held in January 2022.

During talks on global and regional strategic affairs, Herzog updated Xi on the status of Jerusalem’s new alliances with Arab partners in the Abraham Accords while calling for the encouragement of similar developments.

This positive trend, said the Israeli leader, “stands in complete contrast to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s activities, which are damaging and undermining regional stability in the Middle East, and he “further emphasized the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability,” said the transcript.

Beijing signed a 25-year cooperation agreement with Tehran to strengthen their long-standing economic and political alliance last March.