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France to recognize Palestine if new peace initiative fails

By Sara Cuña - January 30, 2016
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Two State Solution]

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Friday that if new diplomatic efforts between Israel and Palestine fail once again, France would formally recognize a Palestinian state, Haaretz has reported.


According to Fabius preparation for an international conference that will gather leaders from the US, EU and Arab countries will take place in coming weeks in an effort to formalise a two-state solution.


“If this attempt to achieve a negotiated solution reaches a dead end, we will take responsibility and recognize the Palestinian state,” Fabius said.


The move was seen as a threat by Israel, who rejected the French peace bid.


“This statement is an incentive for the Palestinians to bring about a dead end. Negotiations cannot be held nor peace achieved in this manner,” a senior Israeli official said.


However, the announcement was welcomed by the PLO negotiations affairs department, led by chief negotiator Saeb Erekat.


“We welcome the call made by France for serious international involvement towards ending the Israeli occupation that began in 1967,” Erekat said.


In further comments, Fabius condemned Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying expansion must be halted for peace.


“Unfortunately, settlement construction continues. We must not let the two-state solution unravel. It is our responsibility as a permanent member of the UN Security Council,” Fabius said.


Efforts for peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine have been promoted by France in recent years. In December 2014, France pushed for a UN Security Council resolution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but opposition from Israel and the US led these efforts to fail.

In the summer of 2015, France made efforts to initiate international support for peace talks between Israel and Palestine. However, the meeting, attended by foreign ministers of several countries, including the members of the UN Security Council, took place without Israelis or Palestinians. 


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