Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to meet with Chirac

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas meets with French President Jacques Chirac on Monday to discuss possibilities for Middle East peacemaking since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza.

France supports the long-stalled, internationally backed "road map" peace plan, which envisions an independent Palestinian state existing peacefully alongside Israel.

France is pressing for "rapid and total" application of the plan, according to a Foreign Ministry statement ahead of Abbas' visit.

During the talks, France also plans to show support for reforms and economic development in the Palestinian territories, the statement said, reports the AP.


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