- Apr 13, 2011
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
France is hosting foreign ministers from major powers to put Israel-Palestinian peacemaking back on the international agenda and to bring the two sides back to direct talks by the end of the year.With US efforts to broker a deal on a Palestinian state on Israel-occupied land in cold storage for two years, France has lobbied the key players in the peace process to attend the Paris conference.
However, neither Israel nor the Palestinians have been invited.
In his opening speech on Friday, French President Francois Hollande urged Israelis and Palestinians to make a "courageous choice for peace", adding that the solution had to involve the "whole region".
"The discussion on the conditions for peace between Israelis and Palestinians must take into account the entire region," he said.
"The threats and priorities have changed. The changes make it even more urgent to find a solution to the conflict, and this regional upheaval creates new obligations for peace. We must prove it to the international community."
France has grown frustrated over the absence of progress towards a "two-state solution" since the collapse of the last round of talks in April 2014, arguing that letting the status quo prevail is like "waiting for a powder keg to explode".
The gathering of ministers in Paris includes the Middle East Quartet - which comprises the US, Russia, the EU and the UN - as well as the Arab League, the UN Security Council and about 20 countries.
Its initial focus is to reaffirm existing international texts and resolutions that are based on achieving a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip co-existing with Israel.
Read more @: France puts Israel-Palestine conflict back in focus
A start to a new sort of approach to peace talks that we have not seen for some time now. Establish certain countries as "working groups" to the two sides to act as a sort of mediator between Israel and Palestine on certain issues/disagreements each side has. I think this is a good and bold approach to handle the peace talks. It seems that the Palestinian side is open to this strategy while the Israeli side is not, but they have not come out and said they would boycott the talks. It will be interesting to see where this heads. I applaud the French delegation in leading the way in this.