Jan 28, 2022

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Israeli officials on Monday told France that Israel would not participate in a French-led international conference aimed at restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Jacob Nagel, the head of Israel’s national security council, and Isaac Molcho, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s special envoy, met with France’s Mideast peace special envoy Pierre Vimont on Monday in Jerusalem. At the meeting, the Israeli officials reiterated the Jewish state’s opposition to a peace conference that does not directly involve the two parties to the conflict.

“Nagel and Molcho clarified unequivocally that promoting a real peace process that leads to an agreement will only be resulted through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and that any other initiative pushes peace further away,” a statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said.

“Israel is certain and expects that France will not advance a conference or process contradicting the State of Israel’s official position,” the statement added.

During the last year, France has been leading efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. In June, France hosted a one-day peace summit that excluded Israeli and Palestinian representatives. The conference ended with a vague statement condemning violence and Israeli settlement activity. Yet there have been discussions regarding a possible United Nations Security Council resolution that would address the current peace impasse. Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have been stalled since 2014.