France wants 'more active role' for Mideast Quartet

7th February 2011, Comments 0 comments

France said Monday the Middle East diplomatic Quartet, which seeks rapid resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, should take a more active role in the bid for peace in the troubled region.

"We believe that the Quartet should assume a more active role notably in establishing the parameters under which negotiations should be held," French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said.

This was necessary to achieve the Quarter's goal of a deal by the end of the year that would enable the creation of a Palestinian state "with possible approved exchanges of territories," and with Jerusalem the capital of both states, he told reporters.

The Quartet, in a statement Saturday, called on all parties "to undertake urgently efforts to expedite Israeli-Palestinian and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, which is imperative to avoiding outcomes detrimental to the region."

The Palestinians walked out of peace talks after Israel refused in September to renew a temporary ban on building settlements in the West Bank -- on land earmarked for a future Palestinian state.

The Quartet is made up of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.

© 2011 AFP

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