Clinton Rejects French Call for Mideast Peace Talks

Israel Intends to Block Talks in Favor of Stalled US-Led Initiative

by Jason Ditz, June 06, 2011

Despite what had been months of boundless US optimism at the prospect of reviving their own failed peace effort, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today rejected the notion of a French-brokered series of talks out of hand, saying neither side was “ready” to engage in talks.

And while the US has been unable to restart the talks since their unceremonious collapse in September, the Palestinian Authority has already agreed to the French proposal in principle. But then there’s Israel.

And Israeli officials say that they are inclined to reject the talks entirely, saying that they are focusing on the US-led negotiations, focusing on the ones that haven’t actually involved any talking since Israel began expanding settlements anew in September.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry lambasted the French effort, but it is unclear if the rejection is based on a perceived lack of pro-Israel bias on the part of France, or if it is the US rejection, seemingly based purely on concern that France might steal their thunder, has Israel convinced that blocking them would be a good conciliatory move in the recently tense relations with the Obama Administration.

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