Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (L) and French President Francois Hollande (R) make a joint statement in Paris, France, April 15, 2016.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
French President Francois Hollande said on Friday that an international conference to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the best way to bring peace, following a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The proposed conference is a French initiative and Hollande said he hoped it would bring together countries with an interest in the conflict, within a specified time frame.
"This process implies a certain order and a certain calendar. Firstly, bring together all the partners, of course the Quartet but also other countries who are conscious of the situation and who want to participate in the solution. And we will work to bring together first of all, the foreign ministers of those countries, and then see how we can work with the interested parties. But this initiative serves the peace process, this initiative doesn't intend to block any steps but at the same time we think that it's the best course of action," he told journalists after his meeting with Abbas.
Hollande made the comments on the eve of a four-day trip to the Middle East which will take in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, directly affected by the conflict.
Abbas offered his support to the initiative to widen participation and organize a conference.
"We also confirmed to the president that the settlements was the major obstacle to peace and that's why we're going to pursue our contact with France and with the countries involved, bearing in mind the committee of the Arab Quartet is working out the best time to present a draft resolution about the settlements to the Security Council," he added.