Clinton reserved about French Mideast peace talks

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a cool welcome Monday to a French plan to host a Middle East peace conference, saying it must be linked to a willingness to resume talks.

"The idea of any gathering, conference or meeting has to be linked to a willingness by the parties to resume negotiating," the chief US diplomat said during a press conference with her French counterpart Alain Juppe.

"We strongly support a return to negotiations but we do not think that it would be productive for there to be a conference about returning to negotiations.

"There has to be a return to negotiations which will take a lot of persuasion and preliminary work in order to set up a productive meeting between the parties."

© 2011 AFP

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