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Xi congratulates Israel’s president-elect

President Xi Jinping congratulated Isaac Herzog on Tuesday on his election as Israel's next president, saying he stands ready to work with Herzog to strengthen bilateral ties.

In a congratulatory message to the Israeli president-elect, Xi said that in recent years, China and Israel have developed close exchanges at various levels with pragmatic cooperation making sustained progress.

Noting that he considers relations with Israel greatly important, Xi said that he is willing to work with Herzog to consolidate mutual trust between the two countries, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields and bring the China-Israel innovative comprehensive partnership to a new stage to benefit the two countries and the two peoples.

In a congratulatory message to the Israeli president-elect, Xi said that in recent years, China and Israel have developed close exchanges at various levels with pragmatic cooperation making sustained progress

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Herzog, 60, who is a former chairman of Israel's Labor Party and opposition leader, was elected president on June 2 with the votes of 87 lawmakers in a contest against Miriam Peretz, a conservative educator and settler, who gained 26 votes.

He is the chairman of the Jewish Agency, a major nonprofit organization, and the son of Israel's sixth president, Chaim Herzog.

In the 2013 national elections, he ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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Swearing-in ceremony

The newly elected president will be sworn in at a ceremony in July, when President Reuven Rivlin is due to retire after a seven-year term. Israel's president cannot serve more than a single term.

Parliamentary Speaker Yariv Levin announced on Monday that Israel's parliament will vote by June 14 on whether to approve a new government that could oust Netanyahu as prime minister after 12 years in the post.

Levin said that opposition leader Yair Lapid informed the president last week that a coalition deal had been agreed.

Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, said last week that he reached a deal to form a coalition government with nationalist Naftali Bennett, leader of the pro-settler Yamina party, and six additional small parties.

Xinhua contributed to the story.

caodesheng@chinadaily.com.cn