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France promotes regional framework for Mideast conflict

French President François Hollande has decided to promote an initiative to convene an international Middle East peace conference out of concern that the current political stalemate might lead to further escalation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius speaks during a joint news conference with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Amman July 19, 2014. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed (JORDAN - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3ZC48

French President Francois Hollande has decided to launch an initiative convening an international conference on the Middle East, out of concern that the current political stalemate is leading to a violent deterioration in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and possibly also in Gaza. This decision is yet another sign that Europe wakes up when the United States starts to give up on the region, a senior source at the French Foreign Ministry who spoke on condition of anonymity told Al-Monitor. .

The French analysis leading to this move holds the Palestinian issue as central to regional stability. The fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq does not lessen the importance of solving the Palestinian issue, but actually calls more urgently for a viable peace process.

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