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Palestinian Authority Approves Egypt’s Initiative on Condition it doesn’t Contradict French Proposal | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas prays for Maysara Abu Hamdeya, a Palestinian inmate who died from cancer in an Israeli hospital, during a Fatah Central Committee meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah in this April 2, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Mohamed Torokman/Files

Tel Aviv-The Palestinian Authority has approved the Egyptian initiative to convene a regional and international summit in Cairo to revive the talks between Israel and the Palestinians, according to political sources in Israel.

The sources confirmed that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has recently met with prominent Egyptian officials in his office in Ramallah, and stressed that he did not reject the conference only if it fell in line with the French initiative.

Abu Mazen suggested the participation of France in setting the stage for the conference and the attendance of other Western countries that are ready to put pressure on Israel in case Israelis botched these endeavors.

He added: “The peace process suffers from a serious deadlock. The European Union and the United States refuse to lead the efforts that are doomed to fail in advance between Israel and the Palestinians.”

“Netanyahu is relieved because he is not subjected to any pressure. Therefore, it seems that the Egyptian initiative is the only way to end this deadlock,” he said.

Netanyahu, who opposes the French initiative, which aims at holding an international conference in Paris to revive negotiations between Israel and Palestinians, previously approved the Egyptian regional initiative and considered it a very important step by Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

The Egyptian initiative aims at holding talks between Israel and Arab states in order to normalize relations between Israel and the Arab world with the aim of resolving the Palestinian cause.

Recently, officials close to Netanyahu and to his Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman expressed concern over the possibility that U.S. President Barack Obama will take advantage of the period between the November presidential elections and the passing of the White House torch on Jan. 20 to drop a new initiative on Netanyahu for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Although U.S. sources denied this possibility, Israelis believe that Obama has started preparing for such an initiative because he wants to be remembered before he leaves office.

Moreover, Israeli political sources advised Netanyahu to make an initiative or cooperate with Egypt in advancing al-Sisi’s proposal.