Abbas welcomes and backs French peace initiative

Ramallah, Feb 1 (IANS) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told US Secretary of State John Kerry that it is important to back the French initiative for holding an international conference for peace in the Middle East.

A report published by the Palestinian state-run news agency (WAFA) quoted Nabil Abu Rdineh, an aide to President Abbas as saying that Kerry telephoned Abbas, who is currently in Amman, Xinhua reported.

Abu Rdineh stated to Wafa that the telephone conversation between the two men focused on the French initiative.

“President Abbas stressed to Kerry that he welcomes the initiative and it is necessary to back it, end the current stalemate and create the proper atmosphere to end the Israeli occupation,” said Abu Rdineh.

The Palestinian presidency had earlier on Friday welcomed the declaration of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius that his country will soon renew its efforts to move up its project of holding an international peace conference to succeed the two-state principle between Israel and Palestine.”

Israel criticised the French initiative and said that it would encourage the Palestinians not to make concessions for peace, where the US expressed reservations.

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