French President Francois Hollande will visit Israel by the end of the year, the country’s foreign minister said Tuesday, according to French media reports.
Speaking to reporters, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius welcomed the resumption of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority this week in Washington and said he would be going to Israel in early September.
“The president will go at the end of the year,” he added.
Fabius said that although France was not taking part in the negotiations currently taking place between Israeli Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzipi Livni and her Palestinian counterpart Saeb Erakat, “We continue to have close relations with the Palestinians and the Israelis.”
He also said France was “pinning hope” on the talks , and urged the two sides to make “reasonable compromises.”
“We know they will be extremely difficult,” he said.