Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday departed for Paris, where he will meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and hear his proposal for an international peace summit aimed at jump-starting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Sarkozy wants US President Barack Obama to call for and oversee the summit, but needs first for Israel to back the idea. According to Israeli government sources cited by Ha'aretz, Sarkozy sees such a summit as the only way to pressure Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to drop his current refusal to hold talks with Netanyahu.
But reports indicate Washington is not keen on the idea, at least not until Israel starts to comply with its demand that the construction of Jewish housing in Judea, Samaria and the eastern half of Jerusalem come to a complete halt.
While in Paris, Netanyahu will also meet with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell to further discuss Israel's refusal to come in line with the way Obama wants things done.