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France: No More Settlements For Mideast Peace

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PARIS — France's foreign minister says an agreement on freezing Jewish settlements must be reached for international Mideast peace efforts to succeed.

Bernard Kouchner and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Thursday in Paris.

Asked about the possibility of a new American peace initiative through a meeting of Israel, the Palestinians and the United States, Abbas said any such meeting "could only happen after a declaration freezing settlements."

Kouchner said if there is no agreement on freezing settlements, a larger peace initiative "will be much more difficult, or perhaps even impossible."

Kouchner said he has discussed with the Obama administration a French-Egyptian proposal for an international meeting to discuss Mideast peace in the coming months.

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