The government of France on Thursday will hold a joint meeting with Palestinian Authority leaders.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that although the meeting was an official government event, it did not imply that France yet recognized a Palestinian state.
However, a source in the French government said that the meeting was “definitely a step in that direction.”
The meeting is part of a larger summit being held by France and PA officials. The talks are geared to exploring with the PA its conditions for reopening talks with Israel.
French officials will take the results of the meeting to the Middle East Quartet, which will take them into consideration and attempt to relaunch the talks.
Fabius told Israel Radio that the two sides will also discuss the PA's attempts to get the UN Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state.
France, he said, has made its own proposal, in which Israel and the PA would enter into discussions on parameters for a deal that will be hammered out by the international community.
Fabius said he felt this was now the best chance of getting both sides to compromise, and that the international community was very supportive of his government's ideas.
At a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in June, Fabius said his government would not propose a Security Council resolution on Palestinian statehood if the US planned to veto it.