Palestine hopes a French initiative to revive peace talks between it and Israel will be backed by major world powers, including Russia, saying recognition of statehood is not a “political risk” but a “value,” Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told RT.
“We said yes, absolutely [to that idea] raised by the former [French] foreign minister Laurent Fabius. Not only had we said yes, we lobbied for it. We wanted the negotiations to start and we felt that the lack of negotiations undermines the peace process and the situation on the ground,” Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told to RT.
The interview came ahead of Monday’s Moscow meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas. Discussions on bringing long-standing foes Israel and Palestine to the table again, as well as the other countries concerned, was said to top the agenda.
French President Francois Hollande said after a meeting with Abbas last week that the new summit would help pave the way to lasting peace in the region if it is supported by world powers and Palestine’s neighbors.
“The meeting that we’ve had with Holland was very positive,” Foreign Minister al-Maliki told RT. “Of course, he relies heavily on … collective support [from the Arab states] and beyond. We’ve also had previous discussions with Russian authorities on the French idea [in hope to] get full support from President Putin.”
Following the meeting with Abbas at the Kremlin, President Putin said Moscow will offer “unconditional support” to Palestinian efforts to promote a peaceful solution to the decades’ long conflict, according to TASS.
However, the much anticipated conference may stall, as Israel seems unwilling to discuss any option involving a two-state solution, which implies the existence of the State of Israel and State of Palestine within pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
Earlier in March, the Washington Post quoted Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu as saying that he still believes a sovereign Palestine would come as “not a state next to Israel, but a state instead of Israel.”
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