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Abbas: France trying to restart Mideast peace talks

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 During Tunisia visit, PA president says France to soon present peace initiative to the UN Security Council.

France has resumed efforts to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was quoted on Thursday as saying.

Abbas, who is visiting Tunisia, said France would soon present a peace initiative to the UN Security Council. He said the Palestinians welcome France’s efforts to resume the peace talks.

“We welcome these efforts, but there is an Arab committee that is working on this issue,” Abbas said.

The PA leader said during a joint press conference with his Tunisian counterpart, Beji Caid Essebsi, that he was determined to pursue his efforts to end the dispute between his Fatah faction in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Last month, reports in Arab media outlets claimed that France was set to propose a new Palestinian state resolution at the UN in light of the recent Israeli national election.

The draft would define the pre-1967 lines as a reference point for talks, while allowing room for land swaps between Israel and the future Palestinian state. It also calls for turning Jerusalem into the capital of both Israel and the Palestinian state.

PA officials said France was working with the US to win support for the new peace initiative, which also requires the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. They said France was also seeking the support of European and Arab countries for its bid

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