France postpones Middle East peace talks

French-led peace talks on the Middle East, which had been expected by the end of the month, will be delayed to accommodate the schedule of US Secretary of State John Kerry.

French President Francois Hollande told Europe 1 radio on Tuesday that the talks, originally scheduled for May 30, would take place sometime during the European summer.

The initiative is an effort to reinvigorate progress toward peace in the Middle East. As planned, it would initially convene with important partners, but exclude Israeli and Palestinian authorities. The French hope that beginning with non-direct talks could help ease the way for an agreement later.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his country is opposed to international conference, insisting on direct negotiations. The Palestinians have welcomed the French effort.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was in Jerusalem over the weekend to speak with Netanyahu, and Prime Minister Manuel Valls is scheduled to visit Israel and Palestinian territory on Saturday.

Last update: Tue, 17/05/2016 - 13:13

More from Europe

EU-Canada summit gets green light despite trade deal setback

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will travel to Brussels for an EU-Canada summit despite resistance in the...

Over 2,000 leave migrant camp near Calais on first day of clearing

French authorities started the process of clearing thousands of migrants from a makeshift camp near the northern...

Scotland's Sturgeon calls Brexit talks with May "deeply frustrating"

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called talks on Monday with British Prime Minister Theresa May about Britain...

Belgian premier: Efforts to win over regions on EU-Canada deal failed

Belgium cannot approve a landmark free trade deal between the European Union and Canada, Prime Minister Charles...

Greece can receive new 2.8-billion-euro aid tranche, EU sources say

Greece's creditors are expected this week to approve a further 2.8 billion euros (3.1 billion dollars) in bailout...