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French Middle East peace conference is delayed

French Middle East peace conference is delayedFrance has decided to postpone its international peace conference aimed at resuming talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Voice of Palestine radio reported on Wednesday.

The Palestinian envoy to France said that France informed sides that the peace conference, originally scheduled to take place later this month, has been postponed until January 2017.

The envoy stressed that the conference was postponed since there was not enough time to prepare it in such a way that ensures its success, and that the postponement was unrelated to Israel’s refusal to participate.

Israel has long opposed the French initiative, explaining that the only way to reach a peace agreement is through direct talks with the Palestinian Authority, which was refused, choosing instead to impose preconditions on talks.

Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told French President Francois Hollande that he was willing to meet Abbas "directly, without preconditions”.

While Palestine has accepted the French initiative, it has also continued to seek an alternative, namely in the form of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli “settlements”.

Earlier this week it was reported that Palestine would be sending a delegation to the United States which would seek to convince President Barack Obama not to veto an anti-Israel resolution at the Security Council.
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