The Foreign Ministry on Monday evening rejected the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council’s decision to adopt the French peace initiative and act to convene an international peace conference in accordance.
"Peace with the Palestinians can only be achieved through direct, bilateral negotiations without preconditions," the Foreign Ministry said.
"International conferences like the ones welcomed today by European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council distance peace because they allow the Palestinians to continue to avoid direct talks and compromise," the ministry added.
A statement released by the EU Foreign Affairs Council said it "reiterates its support for a just, sustainable and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and peace and stability in the region. The EU is determined, alongside other international and regional partners, to bring a concrete and substantial contribution to a global set of incentives for the parties to make peace.”
"The Council also reaffirms the European proposal, as endorsed in the Council Conclusions of December 2013, of an unprecedented package of political, economic and security support to be offered to and developed with both parties in the context of a final status agreement," the statement added.
The adoption of the initiative followed a June 3 summit in Paris in which foreign ministers discussed ways in which the international community could "help advance the prospects for peace, including by providing meaningful incentives to the parties to make peace," according to a joint statement released afterwards.
The Foreign Ministry’s statement is in line with remarks by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who told French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault that it would be better if France and its partners would encourage Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas to accept Netanyahu’s invitation to sit down for direct negotiations.