Britain, France urge Palestinian peace deal

Britain and France are urging the UN Security Council to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, while New Zealand has begun drafting a resolution on the issue. This was prompted by the US saying it may “reassess” its position on the stalled talks.

France and New Zealand have stressed that it is imperative to act now, given that the Israeli elections are over and there is a current lull in the US before the presidential election campaign heats up.

“We have been working on a text that might serve the purpose of getting negotiations started,” said New Zealand’s UN Ambassador Jim McLay, adding that the country is ready to wait and see how the French initiative for a resolution will turn out.

France announced last month that it wanted to begin talks about drafting “parameters” for ending the conflict in the Middle East, with the hopes of bringing the US onboard, which has repeatedly sided with Israel in the past.

Meanwhile French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that police are holding a heavily-armed man suspected of planning an imminent armed attack on one or two churches in France, Reuters reports.

A 24-year-old information technology student of Muslim origin was arrested on Sunday in the southeastern 13th arrondissement of Paris after he called emergency services for treatment of a gunshot wound.

Cazeneuve said police found handguns, other weapons and bulletproof vests. France strengthened security after Islamists killed 17 people in attacks on the Charlie Hebdo office and a Jewish food shop in January.