MARRAKECH, Morocco Dec 12 Israel and the
Palestinians must restart peace talks quickly otherwise
hardliners on both sides of the conflict will take advantage,
the French foreign minister said on Wednesday.
Minister Laurent Fabius also said it was imperative that
France, Britain and the United States became more directly
involved in peace negotiations.
"It won't resolve itself," he said.
Talks towards ending the decades-old conflict and creating
an independent Palestinian state have been stalled for more than
two years over the issue of Israeli settlements in occupied
France, a U.N. Security Council member, voted in favour of
an upgrade of the Palestinian Authority's United Nations status
last month and has been critical of a new Israeli
Israel holds a general election in January.
"After (the poll) we have to move quickly toward
negotiations because, sooner or later, this will benefit the
extremists on both sides," Fabius told reporters before a
conference on Syria in Morocco.
Paris will also host a donors' conference early next year to
raise funds for the government of Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas, Fabius said.
The move is likely to irritate Israel, which is withholding
tax revenues due to be transferred to Abbas's government until
March at least in retaliation for his U.N. statehood campaign.
Under interim peace deals, Israel collects some $100 million
a month in duties on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in
the occupied West Bank, money that is badly needed to pay public