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Abbas Hosts Italian President, both Push French Peace Conference Israel Opposes

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas hosted Italian President Sergio Mattarella in Ramallah on Tuesday, the first visit to the Palestinian territories by the Italian head-of-state. At a joint news conference following their talks, Abbas expressed support for the French peace initiative and specifically, for the international peace conference President Hollande wants to convene before the end of the year, while Mattarella agreed that the international community needs to foster such efforts to make peace. He called for an “appropriate environment for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Israel opposes the conference concept seeing it as one more opportunity for the international community to divert the onus of making peace from the parties whom it will affect.