The Munich Group continues to push for Ashkenazi-Maliki talks

The foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, France and Germany have continued their efforts to bring together Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and his Palestinian Authority counterpart Riad Maliki for talks in the coming weeks. ahead.
The four foreign ministers, known as the Munich Group, are expected to meet in Paris next month, and have invited Ashkenazi and Maliki to join them.
A diplomat from the Munich Group country said they expect Ashkenazi to go to France in March, stating that he is not running in the upcoming election and has no political reason not to.
However, Israeli diplomatic sources were more skeptical about the chance that Ashkenazi would participate.
Israel has traditionally sought U.S. mediation for talks with the Palestinians. A forum comprising Jordanian and Egyptian foreign ministers is likely to be strong for Palestinians and to raise concerns in Jerusalem about imbalance.
This is the second such invitation from the Munich Group in 2021, the first to go to a meeting in Cairo in January. Ashkenazi did not participate, but spoke to the four individual foreign ministers before and after the meeting.
The meeting was “important for enjoying regional security and stability,” Ashkenazi told the foreign ministers, adding that it could not come due to coronavirus lockout, the source said.

Ashkenazi refused to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Foreign Ministry staff to be able to return without quarantine, feeling it was inappropriate to travel when other Israelis cannot leave the country, the source said.
A Munich Group statement following their meeting last month highlighted the U.S. role in relaunching the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The group called for “a negotiated two-state solution, ensuring an independent and operational Palestinian state established on June 4, 1967, the lines and resolutions of the UN Security Council, living alongside a secure and recognizable Israel. “

Ministers also said they would be willing to work with the U.S. to resume talks toward that goal.