Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the French invitation to participate in the proposed peace conference to be held in Paris, Israeli media reported on Wednesday. It was noted that he is, however, ready for direct talks with the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and that this has been conveyed to the French authorities.
According to the Israeli news website Ynet News, the French confirmed that they had already invited both leaders to “attend a face-to-face meeting”. French diplomats have also said that President Francois Hollande is planning to call Barack Obama to discuss the issue.
The direct talks with Abbas, said Ynet News, are an alternative to the French-initiated international conference, which Netanyahu claims “will not contribute to peace.”
“We have to recreate the conditions for a two-state solution and we are determined more than ever to do everything to implement our initiative,” said a French official. “The sooner the better.”
Meanwhile, Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu-Rudeineh welcomed the French initiative and said that the Palestinians would accept an invitation to attend.