JERUSALEM: The Palestine Liberation Organisation welcomed the closing statement of Sunday´s Middle East peace conference “which stressed the need to end the Israeli occupation,” PLO secretary general Saeb Erekat said.

The PLO also called on conference host France “to immediately recognise the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital,” and urged all the countries that attended the meeting in Paris to “recognise Palestine in line with their recognition of Israel”.

The conference´s closing statement called on both sides to avoid “unilateral steps” and stressed that the basis for negotiations should be should be the 1967 borders, before Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

According to Erekat, a former Palestinian peace negotiator, the participants in the conference “created a momentum” in rejecting “Israeli occupation and its settlement enterprise”.

The meeting constituted a message to Israel “to abide by international law” and “end its military occupation of Palestine” in order to page the way for peace and stability in the region, Erekat said.

“It is time to stop dealing with Israel as a country above the law and to hold it accountable for its systematic violations of international law and the rights of our people,” he said in a statement.

Neither Israel nor the Palestinians attended the conference, which the Palestinians supported but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed as “futile”.