France urges 'quick' Mideast peace talks
President Nicolas Sarkozy warned Monday that success in this week's Israeli-Palestinian peace talks depends on speedy progress and that delay would encourage extremism.
"Good discussions are discussions that are quick," he told reporters ahead of talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas due to begin Thursday in Washington.
"Lengthy talks and lack of compromise make a bed for all types of extremism, everywhere in the world and particularly in this region," he said after a meeting in Paris with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Mubarak, who was on his way to Washington to join an inaugural meeting between Netanyahu and Abbas, said he hoped "that all parties will seize this opportunity as we are at an important turning point."
Sarkozy said that "a hope exists, a fresh chance, it must be seized."
Thursday's talks will launch the first direct negotiations between the two sides since the Palestinians broke off talks in December 2008, after Israel launched a devastating offensive against the Gaza Strip.
© 2010 AFP