May 10, 2011 - 12:00am

France plans to hold an international conference on peace by the end of June, a Palestinian official said Tuesday.

Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian negotiator, said that France has informed the Palestinian leadership about its intention to host the peace conference on the sidelines of a meeting for international donors to the Palestinians in Paris next month.

Welcoming the French initiative, Erekat told Al-Ayyam newspaper that any effort to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians should recognize the boundaries of the future Palestinian state on the lands that Israel occupied in 1967. He also demanded that Israel stop Jewish settlement building.

Israeli media said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the idea with French President Nicolas Sarkozy when they met in Paris last week.

The peace negotiations stopped in September 2010, four weeks after the United States brokered the talks. The Palestinians walked out of the talks, protesting the resumption of Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank.


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