France to convene Mideast peace conference on January 15

PARIS - France will convene some 70 countries on January 15 for a Middle East peace conference in Paris, its foreign minister said on Thursday, and will invite the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to meet separately at its conclusion.
France has repeatedly tried to breathe new life into the peace process this year, holding a preliminary conference in June where the United Nations, European Union, United States and major Arab countries gathered to discuss proposals without the Israelis or Palestinians present.
The plan was to hold a follow-up conference before the end of the year with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas involved to see whether the two sides could be brought back to negotiations and revive moribund peace talks.
Netanyahu had repeatedly rejected the conference proposal.
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