Report: Abbas turns down Kerry invite to peace summit

Once again, Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas proves he is uninterested in making peace with Israel and establishing an independent state for the Palestinian people.

Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas has turned down an offer by US Secretary of State John Kerry to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a regional peace summit, the Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper reported Thursday.

According to the report, Kerry offered to hold a summit to jumpstart the stalled diplomatic negotiations, which would include representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Japan, Russia and the US – but Abbas refused the offer.

In its report, Al-Quds quoted sources that say that Abbas is effectively ignoring the French initiative in his refusal for the proposed summit.

Kerry and Abbas met in Paris last month, during which Kerry reportedly made his offer. Abbas tied any renewed talks to an Israeli halt of all construction in Judea and Samaria and the release of Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli prisons.

Abbas and Kerry reportedly discussed further options for making progress in the stalled diplomatic negotiations with Israel, while Abbas urged Kerry to exert more international pressure on Israel to make more concessions.

While in France, Abbas also met with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and President Francois Hollande, apparently in another French effort to promote its peace initiative.

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France has been spearheading an effort to relaunch the stalemate diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The French 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.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News