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France: Israel considering Paris peace talks
Published Tuesday 07/06/2011 (updated) 08/06/2011 12:46
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Juppe speaks to journalists after meeting Abbas on June 1 at a hotel in Rome.
[AFP/Andreas Solaro]
WASHNIGTON (Ma'an) -- Israel is considering a French proposal to resume peace talks with Palestine in Paris before the end of June, France's foreign minister told reporters in the United Sates on Wednesday.

Speaking alongside the minister, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the two discussed Paris' plan, "will be certainly working together," she said, adding that both nations believed the "status quo is unsustainable."

France's Alain Juppe addressed the looming prospect of a Palestinian move at the UN seeking international support for statehood, saying "We have the feeling that if nothing happens before September, the situation will be very difficult for everybody when the General Assembly will discuss a resolution about the Palestinian state. It will not be easy for us Europeans, for Palestinians, for [Israelis], and the only way to avoid such a situation is to boost or to encourage a resumption of the negotiation[s]."

Juppe said he was "rather pleasantly surprised," by President Mahmoud Abbas' immediate agreement with the idea of a conference in Paris. Israel, he said is "reflecting on this proposal."

As for failed American attempts to sponsor talks, Juppe said France and the US "agreed to continue our conversation and our work closely as possible."

American-mediated peace talks came to an end on 26 September 2010, when Israel resumed settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, after a partial moratorium ended. Palestinian negotiators had indicated from the start of talks 24 days earlier that they would walk away if Israel continued building illegal Jewish-only settlements on occupied lands, calling construction a sign of bad faith.

US officials tried for months to persuade Israel to halt the building, with promises of weapons, UN vetos on the Palestinian issue and financial support. No deal was reached, and peace talks did not resume.

In May, US President Barack Obama made a series of speeches outlining a US view for a return to talks, announcing that negotiations must be based on the pre-1967 ceasefire lines with land swaps where long-standing Israeli settlement blocs in the West Bank would remain under Israeli control. Israel scoffed at the prospect, which had been previously accepted under earlier negotiations.

France has not laid out its platform for talks publicly, but Juppe said he and Clinton "had on this issue a comprehensive and in-depth exchange, and we agree to work closely together," noting that the countries "hold close views on the international situation."

Juppe said no invitations to the conference had been handed out, as officials were waiting to hear from Israel.
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1 ) BIG MIKE / ANTI ZIONIST
07/06/2011 18:14
Izrael might indicate a willingness to participate in these talks long enough to get past the Mid July,UNSC Rules for PA's approach to UNGA bid for statehood vote in September. PA must approach the UNSC by mid July in order to take the issue to the UNGA this fall.their failure to start that ball rolling in July will stop thier UN approach for recognised statehood in the upcoming UN Assembly when it takes up session mid Sept. Izrael is not dumb and they know they can feet drag past this deadline.

2 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
07/06/2011 19:23
Another example of the blind, deaf and dumb (Foreign Minister Alain Juppe) leading the blind, deaf and dumb (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) and coming in the aftermath of the most recent exercise in insanity (the collapsed American peace effort led by George Mitchell). Jerusalem and Ramallah are 15 to 20 minutes by car from each other (10 if you get through all the traffic lights). WHY IN THE HELL is everybody SO DAMN STUCK ON STUPID to travel damn near 2000 miles (3200 km) for ?

3 ) Jack Dempsey / NYC
07/06/2011 19:30
"Consider" isn't acceptance

We still have that old bogey man of the 1967 liines that Abbas insists on, which Israel refuses

This will wind up as another Wild Goose Chase, like the attempts to get Gilad Shalit released

It isn't over till the fat lady sings, so far she has laryngitis

4 ) Tobias / US
07/06/2011 21:39

Jack-3 is right about the "Wild Goose Chase", because neither 1967 "borders" (or even close), nor refugee return will ever be offered,
both regardless of what the France, US, EU, and the UN may say !!
- And, Pals will never except less !!

So the whole world should stop chasing the "goose", that it will never catch,
until either Pals start compromising, or Israel accepts indefensible borders.

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