Israel rejects Hollande’s invite for Paris peace conference

Jerusalem, Dec 8 (IANS) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday talked over the phone with France’s President Francois Hollande, declining his invitation to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Paris in December.

A statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office said Netanyahu agrees to meet Abbas but not in the framework of the international peace conference that France tries to advance, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Netanyahu told Hollande that if there was no international conference in Paris, he would meet Abbas for direct talks without preconditions,” the statement read.

“Israel will not participate in the international conference, which would not contribute to achieving peace,” the statement added.

Israel has repeatedly rejected the French initiative, calling instead for direct talks.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Palestinian presidency announced that it has not received an official invitation for a trilateral meeting.