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Egyptian FM Shoukry to meet France's Mid East peace talks envoy on Sunday

France is proposing an international conference to revive Palestinian-Israeli peace talks

Ahram Online , Sunday 3 Apr 2016
Sameh Shoukry
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry attends a press conference on January 13, 2016 in Berlin (AFP)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will meet France’s envoy for its Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative, Pierre Vimont, on Sunday in Cairo, a statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry said.

The two officials are expected to discuss the French initiative for an international peace conference to resume Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.

Former French prime minister Laurent Fabius stirred Israeli anger in January by proposing an international conference to revive peace talks and saying that France would "recognise a Palestinian state" if peace talks failed.

However, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in March that France would not "automatically" recognise a Palestinian state if the conference fails, AFP reported.

"Nothing is ever automatic. France will present its initiative to its partners. It will be the first step, there is no pre-requisite," Ayrault said in Cairo after a meeting with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, who is backing the initiative.

France is calling for a greater role for the UN and the international community in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process to encourage both sides to conclude an agreement in the near future.

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