Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Rome on Sunday, will try to nudge Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts in the direction of regional negotiations, a senior Israeli official said.

Netanyahu, who opposes French plans for an international peace conference, wants the U.S. to press for a regional summit in Egypt, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential matters.

The Palestinians want an international conference to exert pressure on Israel and are skeptical that direct talks would lead an accord. Netanyahu gave rare praise this month to the Arab peace initiative formulated 14 years ago by Saudi Arabia, which offers Israel normalized ties with the Palestinians and 56 Muslim states in exchange for its withdrawal from most of the West Bank and other territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

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