Abbas hopes French peace initiative succeeds like Iran deal
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas voiced hope on Tuesday that a French initiative to hold an international Middle East peace conference could lead to a solution like breakthrough talks on Iran's nuclear deal.
France, which announced the peace conference initiative in January, has threatened to unilaterally recognize the “State of Palestine” if its peace efforts fail.
Israeli-PA peace talks collapsed in April 2014 and since then, the situation has deteriorated, with the prospects of fresh dialogue appearing more remote than ever.
Abbas said Tuesday he hoped the French proposal "would allow the creation of a mechanism for a political solution on the model of what happened between the Europeans, Americans and Iran".
Last year Iran struck a historic deal with world powers, that agreed to provide Tehran relief from crippling sanctions in exchange for limits on its atomic program.
The July 15, 2015, accord concluded in Vienna ended 12 years of crisis and was reached after 21 months of protracted negotiations.
The PA has welcomed the French initiative, though it has also insisted on a United Nations resolution against Israeli “settlement building” ahead of any renewed peace process.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has rejected the initiative , calling it "mystifying" and counterproductive and arguing that the proposal gives Palestinians no incentive to compromise.
"It says, 'We shall hold an international conference but, if it doesn't succeed, we are deciding in advance what the consequence will be -- we shall recognize a Palestinian state,'" he told reporters during a visit to Berlin.
"This of course ensures in advance that a conference will fail, because if the Palestinians know that their demands will be accepted... they don't need to do anything," he said.
AFP contributed to this report.