Mahmoud Abbas withdraws opposition to Egyptian-initiative for Israeli-Palestinian peace

Sources in the West Bank city of Ramallah revealed that the Palestinian Authority has withdrawn its opposition to an Egyptian-initiative to convene a regional and international conference in Cairo to start a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. They said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Egyptian officials in Ramallah and made it clear to them that he does not oppose the conference as long as it is in coordination with the French-initiative, which also seeks to advance an international conference for peace, and not in place of it.

The Palestinians have also demanded that international representatives attend the Egyptian conference as well. A senior European diplomat said that the EU sees nothing wrong with Israel holding discussions with Arab states to advance regional peace. The diplomat also said that the Palestinian demand to establish an international group to pressure Israel over the Palestinian issue is not anticipated to receive a positive response.