Visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Tuesday that Israel and the Palestinians were on the right track in their revived peace talks, and France stood ready to help the two sides end their conflict.
In three hours of talks in Jerusalem Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to set up high-level working groups to further the aim of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Kouchner, who met Abbas - known familiarly as Abu Mazen - on Monday and Olmert on Tuesday said he got upbeat reports from both men.
"The talks between the prime minister and Abu Mazen are going in the right direction," he said at a joint press conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. "I was happy, they were happy."