French FM Says Things ‘Moving’ on Resuming Israel-Palestinian Talks
French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said Friday he expected a resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Vedrine is in Israel on the second and final day of a Middle East tour on behalf of the French government, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.
"Something has begun to move concerning the political discussion between Israel and the Palestinians," Vedrine told reporters following talks here with caretaker Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Barak is "determined to defend the legitimate interests of Israel and, at the same time, he very much desires to seize every opportunity for discussion to reach an agreement," Vedrine said.
The French foreign minister arrived Thursday in Tel Aviv as part of a regional tour in an EU bid to help restart the peace process.
He will travel to Jordan later Friday.
On Thursday, Vedrine met Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in a bid to promote an end to the violence that has rocked Palestinian territories since September 28.
Earlier Thursday, Vedrine said in Cairo after talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak: "We hope to promote without condition the resumption of political discussions to lead to a revival of real negotiations" -- TEL AVIV (AFP)
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