May 6, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel won't accept UN diktat to resolve disputes with Palestine, but believed only negotiations can achieve regional peace, Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday after meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace.

"A serious quest for peace can only happen through negotiations, through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and not through a UN diktat," he told reporters.

The UN General Assembly is expected to discuss the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in September. France has expressed its support for a Palestinian state but some other European members hold reservations.

In an interview published Wednesday by local magazine l'Express, Sarkozy said France would be willing to recognize a Palestinian state if "the peace process remains stalled in September."

According to the Israeli head of government, he has secured Sarkozy's support on the argument that Palestine should recognize Israel as "a Jewish state" which the Islamic Hamas movement refuse to do.

On Wednesday, senior officials of the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Hamas movement, the actual ruler of Gaza, signed an agreement to establish a joint government, bringing the hope to end four years of division.

However, Israel saw no positive signs in the reconciliation of the two Palestinian forces. Netanyahu called the agreement a strike to the peace and "a great victory for the terrorism" during his visit in London on Wednesday. In Paris, the Israeli leader stressed Hamas's firmness to destroy Israel and to provoke wars.

Sarkozy's office didn't make any statement after the meeting with Netanyahu. Before their meeting, an Elysee statement said their talk would aim to restart the stalled peace process concerning Israel and Palestine.

Netanyahu arrived in Paris on Thursday afternoon after a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017