Netanyahu rejects French peace plan, offers to meet Abbas

Jerusalem—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a multilateral French peace initiative as he met his French counterpart on Monday, offering instead to hold direct talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Paris.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he would speak to President Francois Hollande about Netanyahu’s proposal. Direct negotiations with the Palestinians are “the only way to proceed to peace,” Netanyahu said.
Abbas has welcomed the French initiative to hold a meeting of foreign ministers from a range of countries on June 3, without the Israelis and Palestinians present. Another conference would then be held in the autumn, with the Israelis and Palestinians in attendance.—Agencies

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