France prepares for int'l conf. to revive Mideast peace talks – FM

PARIS, Jan 29 (KUNA) — French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday his country is preparing for an international conference to get back on track the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
France will engage in the coming few weeks in preparations for an international conference which will gather Palestinians and Israelis as well as US, European and Arab stakeholders, Fabius said while meeting members of the French diplomatic corps on the occasion of the new year.
The planned conference is a new attempt to shore up the two-state solution envisaging two states living side by side in peace and security, he said, noting that his country, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council shoulders a responsibility for reviving the peace process.
France will recognize the state of Palestine if the attempts to break the stalemate with Israel came to no avail, the minister vowed.
Fabius expressed regret over Israel’s persistence in settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories, and blasted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his recent remarks on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Responding to the comments made by Ban on Tuesday about the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Netanyahu said the Secretary-General gave “a tailwind to terrorism.” (end) amm.gb