Israel may accept French invitation to peace talks with Palestinians
Israel would consider a French invitation to peace talks with the Palestinians, but believes France has made a mistake by saying it will recognize a Palestinian state if the talks fail, an Israeli government official said on Saturday.
“If and when we get an invitation to a conference, we will examine it and respond to it,” the official, who declined to be named, said in a statement.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told foreign diplomats on Friday that if the conference he proposes hit a wall, “well … in this case, we need to face our responsibilities by recognizing the Palestinian state”.
The Israeli official dismissed the idea, saying: “Why would the Palestinians budge on even a comma in a conference if they already know that, without making progress, they will get what they want?”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking to African leaders at a summit in Ethiopia, urged them to back France’s conference plan.
But two Israeli cabinet ministers, both allies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israel should boycott such a meeting.
“Unequivocally, Israel will not attend a conference under threat,” Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz told Channel 2 television, echoing a comment by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz to Channel 1. Read More