Netanyahu Tells French FM: No One but Israel Can Handle Its Security

France's Jean-Marc Ayrault briefs Israeli PM on Paris summit; Netanyahu rejects proposal to set up teams that would deal with issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including regional security arrangements.

French Foreign minister Jean-Marc Ayrault welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry upon his arrival for a summit in a bid to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, in Paris, France, June 3, 2016.
Stephane de Sakutin, Reuters

PARIS - French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following Friday's summit on the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process and briefed him on the results of the meeting. 

A senior official in Jerusalem said that Netanyahu stressed in his conversation with Ayrault that Israel opposes the French proposal to set up teams that would deal with issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including regional security arrangements. 

"The prime minister objects to the creation of teams that will discuss Israel's vital interests, primarily security," the official said. "Netanyahu told Ayrault that Israel is the one to take care of Israel's security, and no one else."

According to the official, Netanyahu reiterated the Israeli position that any alternative to direct negotiations without preconditions will only push peace farther away. The prime minister prefers that France and its partners encourage Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to accept his invitation to meet without delay to discuss the issues relevant to the conflict. Netanyahu told Ayrault that the French initiative could undermine regional efforts to renew the peace process, which, he said, have greater potential for success. 

Foreign ministers from 29 countries convened in Paris on Friday to discuss the stalled peace process. Upon the conclusion of the five-hour meeting, the ministers released a statement saying that the international community expects Israel and the Palestinians to demonstrate "with policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution in order to rebuild trust."

The ministers agreed to hold an international peace conference by the end of the year, although no date has been set. 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a press briefing following the summit that the sides "need to find some immediate steps on the ground that will make a difference."