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France - Middle East

Fabius visits Israel/Palestine to back peace talks

French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius on a visit to Hanoi earlier this month
French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius on a visit to Hanoi earlier this month Reuters/Luong Thai Linh/Pool

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius visits visit Israel and the Palestinian territories this weekend. The trip aims both Israelis and Palestinains to continue recently resumed peace talks, his office said Friday.

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Fabius will meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and prime minister Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah on Saturday.

In Israel on Sunday he will meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel's negotiator in the talks.

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"This visit will be an opportunity for the minister to encourage these Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to continue direct negotiations in favour of peace," ministry deputy spokesperson Vincent Floreani said.

It will also be sign of "France's determination to support these efforts," he said.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators formally resumed direct peace talks earlier this month, thanks to an intense bout of shuttle diplomacy by US Secretary of State John Kerry, after a break of nearly three years.

Fabius will also discuss regional issues, including Syria - where he has called for "force" to be used if allegations of chemical weapons use is proved true - Egypt and Iran, during the visit, the ministry said.

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