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Middle East

France's Fabius to push peace talks with Israel, Palestinians

  • French Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius (R) arrives for an extraordinary EU Foreign Affairs Council on August 21, 2013 at the European Headquarters in Brussels. AFP PHOTO / GEORGES GOBET

PARIS: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories this weekend to encourage recently resumed peace talks, his office said Friday.

Fabius will meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and prime minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah on Saturday.

In Israel on Sunday, he will meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel's negotiator in the talks.

"This visit will be an opportunity for the minister to encourage these Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to continue direct negotiations in favour of peace," ministry deputy spokesman Vincent Floreani said.

The visit will also express "France's determination to support these efforts," he said.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators formally resumed direct peace talks earlier this month after a hiatus of nearly three years, thanks to an intense bout of shuttle diplomacy by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Fabius will also discuss regional issues -- including Syria, Egypt and Iran -- during the visit, the ministry said.

 
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