President Mahmoud Abbas said, in a press conference on Friday, following his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, in Paris, that the Palestinian leadership is willing to begin confidential or public peace negotiations with Israel.

“We have not rejected negotiations, as the Israelis say, but [Benjamin] Netanyahu always refused,” the President told reporters outside the Elysee Palace, according to WAFA.

He continued, “We have declared our position towards the negotiations… and the Israelis say that the Palestinians reject the negotiations. I challenge them if we were once called for secret or public negotiations in more than one state and we rejected. Rather, Netanyahu always rejected.”

“We are ready to begin negotiations in private or in public, provided that such negotiations be brokered by the Quartet and other countries. We welcome any European or Arab country,” the PA President added.

In response to a question about France’s possible recognition of the State of Palestine, he said: “The French are interested in this matter, are are studying it further. They [the French] believe it is one of the most important issues of interest to them.”

“France is one of the most important European countries. I think it will lead a European position that we do not know when, and we will not insist on knowing when. But the French president is keen to have a European position capable of playing this role.”

(PNN archive image)