Chirac invites new Palestinian leader to Paris

16th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 16 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Sunday invited new Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas to Paris for talks "as soon as possible," pledging support for his efforts to revive the moribund peace process with Israel.

PARIS, Jan 16 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac on Sunday invited new Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas to Paris for talks "as soon as possible," pledging support for his efforts to revive the moribund peace process with Israel.

Chirac's spokesman, Jerome Bonnafont, said the president telephoned Abbas to tell him: "France will do everything possible to help you in carrying out your mission."

He also said French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier would visit Israel and the Palestinian territories at a date yet to be fixed.

"The discussion also covered the fight against terrorism and the improvement of economic and social conditions in the territories, the two subjects going hand-in-hand to contribute to the stabilisation of the situation," Bonnafont said.

Chirac congratulated Abbas on his January 9 election as Palestinian Authority president, taking over from Yasser Arafat who died November 11 last year.

Chirac last met Abbas two days before Arafat's death in a Paris hospital, when Abbas came to the French capital as part of a Palestinian delegation.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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