Pakistan, Iran Discussed as Chinese Military Chief Visits Israel

Posted August 15th, 2011 at 1:30 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese military chief Chen Bingde is in Israel, becoming the most senior Chinese officer ever to visit the country.

Chen met with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Israeli defense chief General Benny Gantz after his arrival Sunday for a three-day visit described by Israeli officials as “historic.”

Israel's defense ministry said the officials discussed relations with Pakistan, Iran and the Palestinian Authority, as well as the fight against global terrorism.

The visit repays a trip to China in June by Barak, who became the first Israeli defense minister to visit that country in a decade.

The Jerusalem Post quoted Israeli defense officials saying the visit does not signal any change in Israeli policy on defense exports to China. Israeli has backed out of two arms sales to China since 2000 because of U.S. pressure, and Israeli companies have been barred from selling weapons to the Chinese military.

However the Israelis were expected to bring up a United Nations report accusing China of supplying Iran with missile technology and components from North Korea.

Israel is also seeking to persuade other countries to vote against a bid by the Palestinians for recognition as a state at the U.N. General Assembly next month.

China's official Xinhua news agency said China and Israel will work together “to tackle all kinds of threats and challenges.”