Israeli-Palestinian conflict at risk of being set 'ablaze' without talks, French FM says

By REUTERS
June 20, 2015 22:02

 
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French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday that the stalemate in the peace process risked setting the conflict "ablaze" and urged both sides to return to the negotiating table quickly.

US-led efforts to broker peace for a two-state solution collapsed in April 2014 and leaders on both sides have since been weakened politically. But with the region's crises worsening and Washington reassessing its options on US-Israel relations, France sees a narrow window to resume negotiations.

"We have to do the maximum so that the two sides restart negotiations," Fabius told reporters after meeting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. "We think that by doing nothing there will the twin risk of stalemate and setting (the conflict) ablaze."

Fabius is on a two-day trip to the Middle East where he hopes to promote a French-led initiative that would see the peace process relaunched through an international support group comprising Arab states, the European Union and UN Security Council members.

These states would then work to pressure both sides to make compromises neither side wants to make alone.

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