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Chinese President Meets with Palestinian Leader

China's President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, May 6, 2013.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken a step toward his country becoming a major player in the Mideast, hosting Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the first visit by a Middle Eastern leader since Xi took office in March.

After a welcoming ceremony Monday, the two leaders walked into a meeting room in the Great Hall of the People.

Officials say the two discussed bilateral ties, as well as international and regional issues of common concern.

Abbas will leave China on Tuesday, after which, President Xi is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, later this week.

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