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France to hold summit on Israel-Palestinian peace process in May

John Thys, AFP | French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault speaks to journalists in Luxembourg on April 18, 2016

France will host a meeting of ministers from 20 countries on May 30 to try to relaunch the Israel-Palestinian peace process, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced on Thursday.

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In an interview with four newspapers including Israel's Haaretz and pan-Arab daily Al Quds Al-Arabi, the minister said however that Israel and the Palestinians would not be invited to the meeting in Paris.

Ayrault said the aim was to prepare an international summit which would be held in the second half of 2016, which would include the Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

"The two sides are further apart than ever," Ayrault admitted.

But he added: "There is no other solution to the conflict than establishing two states, one Israeli and the other Palestinian, living side by side in peace and safety with Jerusalem as a shared capital.

"We cannot do nothing," Ayrault told the newspapers. "We have to act before it's too late."

He said the discussions would be based on the 2002 peace initiative, which was rejected by Israel.

(AFP)

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