Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shook hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday at the UN climate summit in Paris. This was the first time the two leaders met face-to-face and shake hands since September 2010.
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The brief meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas took place during a group photo of the leaders who had arrived for the climate summit. Netanyahu and Abbas were placed in the same row, with only New Zealand Prime Minister John Key standing in between them.
After the group photo, they shook hands and exchanged a few words.
The chance meeting does not attest to any improvement in relations between the two leaders. Sources from the Abbas delegation told reporters that the Palestinian president intends to use his meeting with French President Francois Hollande on the summit's sidelines to ask France to renew its efforts to push through a UN Security Council resolution setting principles for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Sources in the Prime Minister's Office said that during the summit Netanyahu had an important, 10-minute conversation with U.S. President Obama, which U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry joined toward the end.
Officials in Netanyahu's entourage said he also held a warm and amicable talk with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The two leaders exchanged opinions about the global war on terror, according to them. Abe expressed his ambition to continue increasing economic cooperation with Israel as well as cooperation in the fields of cyberwarfare and the war on terror.
In addition, Netanyahu spoke in the summit's hallways with Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Likewise, Netanyahu met British Crown Prince Charles and invited him to Jerusalem.