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Palestinian President hopes Paris summit ends settlements

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hopes the upcoming Mideast conference in France will set a mechanism to end Israeli settlements in territory Palestinians claim for a state.

His public remarks were his first since the recent U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned settlements as a "flagrant violation" of international law. Abbas told a meeting of his Fatah party late Monday that the resolution, "paves the way for the international peace conference."

France hosts a conference on Jan. 15 where countries may endorse a framework for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opposes such activity, saying only direct negotiations will produce a solution. Netanyahu has called on Abbas to meet for talks, but Abbas has refused unless settlement construction ends.

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