French minister favors new peace talks

September 19, 2011 - 11:00 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe says he hopes a last-minute push to restart Mideast peace talks succeeds before the Palestinians ask the U.N. Security Council to recognize their statehood bid.

Juppe, in town for the annual start of the new U.N. General Assembly, told the Council on Foreign Relations Monday that it is more important for the Israelis and Palestinians to resume negotiations.

Juppe says France is Israel's friend, and supports a separate Palestinian state.

France has not said publicly how it would vote if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas takes the statehood request to the Security Council this week as announced. Permanent member U.S. has promised to veto any resolution for Palestinian statehood.