Israel Rejects French Invite to Peace Conference

West Bank, 9 Safar 1438/9 November 2016 (MINA) – The Israeli government on Monday officially rejected the French initiative to hold a peace conference in Paris before the end of the current year.

French envoy Pierre Vimont was in Occupied Jerusalem in a bid to convince the Israelis to attend the conference, but his effort received an arrogant rebuff from the office of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu, the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) reported.

“(They) told the French envoy in a clear and unequivocal manner that Israel’s position to promote the peace process and reach an agreement will only come through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.

“Any other initiative, including this one, will only distance peace from the region,” Netanyahu’s office added, condemning France for “its persistence in promoting a conference that is contrary to Israel’s official position.”

Vimont has not responded to Israel’s position, but the French foreign ministry says it is determined to go ahead with the conference before year-end.

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, for his part, told the French official that he would attend the Paris conference.

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)