Foreign Ministry Chief: Paris Peace Initiative “Doomed to Fail”

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The director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Dore Gold, said Thursday that France’s bid to revive Israel-Palestinian peace talks, beginning with a one-day summit in Paris on Friday, was doomed to fail. “The only way to get a stable regional arrangement that will allow us to create real peace in the Middle East is if the parties of the region come to understandings between them,” Gold said.

“A century ago, Sykes and Picot tried to dictate a new order in the Middle East. That was at the high point of colonialism in our region. It failed then and it will fail today as well. The only way to make peace is through direct negotiation, without prior conditions, with the support of the Arab nations and not by conferences in Paris. If you have a conflict with your neighbor, you don’t go all the way to France and bring Senegal over to solve it. You talk directly to your neighbor.”

Gold continued: “We believe that the Arab states have the ability to influence the Palestinians to conduct serious and direct negotiations, and that’s why we prefer to have the Arab states influence them rather than have them think of creating an alternative to a direct dialogue between us and our neighbors.”

“International conferences of the type that will take place in Paris give the Palestinians an escape route from direct negotiations with us. We’ve been through that and seen that. They must be brought back to sit face-to-face with Israeli diplomats. That’s our aspiration. We are not fleeing negotiations with them; they’re running from negotiating with us….If the international community will state clearly that the objective is direct negotiations and not some detour, there’s a chance it will happen.”

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}

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