Middle East Peace Conference held in Paris

2017-01-15 14:18:46 GMT2017-01-15 22:18:46(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

PARIS, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The Middle East Peace Conference, an international meeting aiming to revive the stranded Middle East peace talks, was held in Paris on Sunday.

About 70 countries, including the UN Security Council permanent members, key European countries and major Arab states, are taking part in the meeting.

However, neither Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas nor Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are represented in the meeting. Israelis called the meeting a "rigged conference" aiming to adopt additional anti-Israel stances.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who chairs Paris gathering, urged for a resumption of the talks.

"Peace cannot be found in hate. The aim of the conference is precisely to allow a resumption of dialogue," Ayrault told the gathering at the opening speech.

"There is no time to waste," because "we are not sheltered from an explosion of violence," said the minister.

But France affirmed that the meeting wouldn't impose conditions on the two rival camps to reach a lasting a peace accord.

France launched a diplomatic initiative to revive Middle East peace talks last June.

The last round of peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinian authorities broke down in April 2014 after the two sides failed to resolve their deep disputes on issues, such as Israeli settlements, Palestinian state borders and security.