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    A young girl holds a bearing images of the Israeli and Palestinian flags during a Israeli left-wing activist rally demanding fresh Israeli-Palestinian peace talks (File)

    French Call for Int'l Conference on Palestine Worthwhile – Former US Envoy

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    The French idea to hold an international conference on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is worth pursuing especially in light of the lack of progress in the peace process, a former US ambassador to Israel told Sputnik on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova  In late January, then French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius proposed an initiative to arrange an international conference to help resume the stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks. He stressed that Paris would be ready to recognize Palestinian statehood if the talks yielded no results. Israel has rejected the French plan.

    "It is certainly worthwhile to pursue, because nothing else is happening right now, the so-called peace process is stuck, the situation on the ground is not static, you have violence perpetrated by individuals against Israelis, the situation is in turmoil, so that any initiative should be welcomed. Whether the French initiative can succeed is a different question, and I think that is more problematic," Daniel Kurtzer said on the sidelines of Valdai International Discussion Club's Middle East forum in Moscow.

    He added the French initiative might fail even of Israel agrees to take part in the conference as the Hamas movement has also rejected the plan while the Palestinian National Authority alone does reflect the entire Palestinian spectrum of opinions.

    Palestinians seek diplomatic and economic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government has so far refused to recognize the State of Palestine as an independent diplomatic entity.


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