Palestinians agree to attend Mideast conference

Last Updated: Saturday, June 4, 2011 - 23:25

Ramallah: The Palestinians
on Saturday accepted a French invitation to attend a conference in
Paris aimed at reviving peace talks with Israel, as their
strategy to bypass negotiations and seek UN recognition of a
Palestinian state appeared to be unraveling.

Nabil Abu Rdeneh, an adviser to Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas, said the Palestinians were prepared to go to
Paris and were waiting for Israeli and American responses.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe extended the
invitation earlier this week in a visit to the region, saying
the conference could take place later this month. Israel has
not replied to Juppe`s invitation and had no comment Saturday
on the Palestinian acceptance, which came with no conditions
attached.

The Palestinians have refused to return to the
bargaining table for months because Israel has rejected their
demand to halt all settlement construction on lands they claim
for a future state.

Palestinian officials said they had no high hopes for
a French-led conference but would attend in an effort to
restart talks that broke down in late 2008 and revived only
briefly this past September before collapsing over settlement
construction.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, June 4, 2011 - 23:25

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