France will attempt to reanimate the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process by holding a meeting of foreign ministers in Paris at the end of May, to set the stage for a peace conference later in the summer.
The intervention by France comes following months of deeply pessimistic noises from Washington – which has long been the key mediator in the peace process – and most recently from Joe Biden, the vice-president, who voiced concerns last week. It also follows six months of worsening violence between the two sides. Previously the White House had said it saw no prospect of advancing negotiations during the remainder of Barack Obama’s term in office.
Invitations for the preparatory summit are expected to be sent out on Friday to foreign ministers from key states and organisations with an interest, but not to Israel or the Palestinian Authority in the first instance.