Israel shuns French initiative after UNESCO vote

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opens the weekly cabinet meeting on May 15, 2016 at his Jerusalem officeIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu poured cold water on Sunday on the Middle East peace initiative advanced by France by questioning its impartiality, a claim swiftly denied by Paris. Speaking to ministers ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu relayed remarks he had made to French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who was visiting the region ahead of a May 30 international ministerial meeting. Ayrault’s visit aimed to prepare for the conference that would try to revive Middle East peace talks, frozen since a US-brokered initiative collapsed in April 2014.

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