Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Source: Press TV
Prior to a UN meeting to discuss an independent Palestinian state, the Israeli prime minister says Tel Aviv would not accept a UN “diktat” to resolve the dispute with the Palestinians.
In a meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Benjamin Netanyahu said regional peace can only be achieved through negotiations, Israeli news source Ynet reported.
“A serious quest for peace can only happen through negotiations, through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and not through a UN diktat," he said.
Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been on hold since they were resumed in Washington in late September after Tel Aviv refused to extend a 10-month partial freeze on Israeli settlement activities.
The Palestinians have repeatedly said that they will not resume talks while Israeli settlement continues on the occupied land.
The UN General Assembly is expected to discuss the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in September.
France has expressed its support for a Palestinian state but some other European members hold reservations.
In an interview published by local magazine l'Express on Wednesday, Sarkozy said that Paris would be willing to recognize an independent Palestinian state if "the peace process remains stalled in September."
Netanyahu is also expected to meet with US President Barack Obama on May 20, to discuss the formation of a Palestinian state under a unity government between two main Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah.
The Palestinian movements, which have been at odds since Hamas came to power in the 2006, signed a reconciliation deal on Wednesday in a move to form a unity government.
The move, however, has caused major concerns for Israel and the US.
Netanyahu had earlier said he would not negotiate with the Palestinian Authority under the reconciliation deal with Hamas.