Palestinians Urge France to Go Ahead With Peace Summit Despite Israeli Objections

'Israel should not be given the chance to sabotage such an international initiative,' a PLO statement said after President Mahmoud Abbas met with France's envoy Pierre Vimont.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas holds talks in Ramallah on November 7, 2016 with French envoy Pierre Vimont.
Abbas Momani/AFP

The Palestinians urged France on Monday to pursue its plan to convene an international peace conference despite Israel’s objections.

“Israel should not be given the chance to sabotage such an international initiative,” read a statement from Palestinian Authority's former chief negotiator Saeb Erekat after his and President Mahmoud Abbas’s meeting with French envoy Pierre Vimont in Ramallah.

“We have encouraged France to go ahead with its initiative and supported its efforts to have a multilateral conference before the end of the year. Palestine will continue to engage with its various partners in order to move towards that end,” Erekat said.

Israel told Vimont on Monday that it was still opposed to its initiative, and that it would not attend such an event held against Israel’s wishes.

Vimont told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s advisers, Yitzhak Molho and Jacob Nagel of Paris’ wish to convene peace talks before the end of the year.

"Nagel and Molho clearly and unequivocally stressed to the French envoy Israel's position that genuine advancement of the peace process and reaching an agreement will only come through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians," the Prime Minister's Office said.

"All other initiatives only distance peace in the region.