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July 19, 2014

In Blog


Abbas asks France to help negotiate a cease-fire

Palestinian president asks French foreign minister to lobby Hamas allies Turkey and Qatar.

By Reuters and Haaretz Jul. 19, 2014 | 11:49 AM
French FM Laurent Fabius and Egyptian FM  Sameh Shoukry

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, right, is accompanied by his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry before a news conference at the Egyptian foreign ministry in Cairo, Friday, July 18, 2014. Photo by AP
By Barak Ravid Jul. 18, 2014 | 9:48 PM  3
By Haaretz Jul. 18, 2014 | 11:33 PM  23

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked France on Friday to use its influence on Hamas allies such as Turkey and Qatar to help negotiate a cease-fire between the Gaza group and Israel, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

“President Mahmoud Abbas asked me to use France’s influence with its partners to try to convince Hamas to accept a cease-fire,” he said. “With regard to Qatar, I told my counterpart our analysis of the situation and he underlined that, in his opinion, Hamas would need points to negotiate and, in particular, a lifting of the blockade on Gaza to accept a cease-fire.”

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, speaking Friday at a news conference in Cairo alongside Fabius, urged all sides to engage in negotiations to end the bloodshed.

Shukri said he had increased his efforts to convince the main players to accept an Egyptian cease-fire proposal. An earlier Cairo initiative was accepted by Israel but rejected by Hamas.

‎”We hope that all sides will support this initiative so that bloodshed stops and this escalation does not get worse. We call on all sides to accept this proposal. We are working to find a framework so that both sides agree,” Shukri said.