France pessimistic about prospects of its peace initiative

French President Francois Hollande said recently that the chances of such an international move have significantly diminished after the elections in the US, and he does not think the current outgoing US administration would attend such a summit.

French President Francois Hollande expressed pessimism about the prospects of Paris’ initiative to jumpstart the stalled diplomatic talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and estimates that the chances to hold an international convention France planned for next month are not good, Israel Radio reported Tuesday.

Hollande told an Israel Radio reporter at the global climate summit in Morocco that the chances of such an international move have significantly diminished after the elections in the US, and he does not think the current outgoing administration would attend such a convention.

The French diplomatic initiative entails indirect negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, at least in the beginning, with international arbitration and an international resolution to pressure Israel into concessions that could hinder its security.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected the French initiative, saying that such moves allow the Palestinians to avoid direct negotiations, thereby making peace more remote.

“This will be an incentive for the Palestinians to come and not compromise,” Netanyahu warned.

France hosted an international meeting in Paris in June attended by more than two dozen Western and Arab countries to try to come up with a new strategy for Mideast peace and revive Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which have been all but dead for over two years. The Israeli and Palestinian leaders were not invited. The conference ended, with only vague statements.

Hollande also cautioned that if President-elect Donald Trump fulfills the pledges he made during the elections campaign regarding Israel, Judea and Samaria and the peace process, the international community will be unable to unite and this would cast doubt on the future of the process.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News