French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe, has proposed a Middle East peace conference in Paris before the end of July in an attempt to restart the stalled Middle East peace process, according to AFP. Speaking from Ramallah where he met Palestinian Prime Minister, Salem Fayyad, Juppe said that “we would be prepared, on the basis of a request by the (Mideast) Quartet, to organize in Paris…, before the end of July, a conference that would not be simply for the donors but a broader political conference involving the negotiation process”.
Juppe had presented to Palestinian negotiators a proposal for a peace plan based on US Presidents Barrack Obama’s call for a return to 1967 borders with agreed land swaps. The plan sets a one year deadline for reconciliation of issues such as right of return for Palestinian refugees and Jerusalem.
The main difference according to Juppe between the French and the US plans for peace was that while Obama was concerned mainly with Israel’s security the French plan emphasised security for both sides.
Juppe met Fayyed as part of his current tour of his trip to the region. He also spent two days in Israel meeting senior politicians and family members of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit.