French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced Friday that France will try to convene an international conference aiming to “bring about the two-state solution” to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Speaking in Paris at a conference of French diplomats, Fabius said that if the efforts to kick-start the negotiations reached a deadlock, Paris would recognize a Palestinian state.
The French initiative is welcomed, Nabil Abu Rdineh, official spokesman of the Palestinian presidency, said in the statement.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced last Tuesday that the Palestinian leadership was coordinating with France to convene an international peace conference with Israel, with the support of Arab states.
The French initiative came after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that Israel’s “provocative” expansion of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank raised questions about its commitment to a two-state solution.
The last round of peace talks collapsed in April 2014, and a deadly wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence broke out about four months ago. At least 155 Palestinians, 25 Israelis and a U.S. citizen have been killed since mid-September.
The Palestinians want to establish an independent state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, lands that Israel seized in the 1967 Mideast War. Israel later annexed East Jerusalem, claiming it as part of its capital, in a move never recognized by the international community.
It kept its control over the West Bank and Gaza despite repeated condemnation by the international community. Enditem