BEIJING, April 24 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday hailed a Palestinian reconciliation deal on ending a seven-year internal split, saying it will build Palestine's internal solidarity.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a daily press briefing, "China welcomes the positive progress on Palestine's internal reconciliation and we congratulate it for this."
Qin's comments came after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and the Hamas movement on Wednesday announced a reconciliation agreement.
Under the agreement, the Fatah party and the Hamas movement will start discussions to form a unity government within five weeks and hold general parliamentary and presidential elections within six months.
The new deal is the outcome of two days of intensive discussions between Hamas officials and a prominent delegation representing the Palestine Liberation Organization.
"We are convinced that the deal will help build Palestine's internal solidarity. Fundamentally it will also help the ultimate realization of the Palestinian nation and the peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel," Qin said.
China has always maintained that talks are the only solution to realize peace between Palestine and Israel, Qin said.
Qin urged the two sides to stick to the goal of peace, give up prejudices, do not create obstacles, make joint efforts and seek achievements through negotiations.
He called on the international community to give a clear signal of encouragement and offer continued assistance.