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China’s Special Mideast Envoy Largely Unseen at Cairo Peace Conference

Seen on a large screen the Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas attends the International Peace Summit hosted by the Egyptian president in the New Administrative Capital (NAC), about 45 kilometres east of Cairo, on October 21, 2023. Khaled DESOUKI / AFP

Despite all of the talk over the past year of China’s ambitions to be a major player in brokering Mideast peace, Beijing’s Special Envoy to the region, Zhai Jun, was largely absent from the emergency discussions on the Israel-Gaza war that took place in Cairo on Saturday.

Arab and European foreign ministers spoke at length during the Cairo Summit for Peace that aimed to de-escalate the fighting in Gaza, while Zhai and the Chinese delegation did not speak.

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