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Israel/Palestinian Territories

Published on June 24, 2015
Statements by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, at his joint press conference with his Palestinian counterpart (excerpts)
Ramallah, June 21, 2015

(…)

The purpose of this visit is still the same: to set out France’s ideas to our friends and partners and ask them what they think of them, with a single aim, which is the priority of French diplomacy: the search for security and peace. That’s the aim: the search for security and peace. There is no other. France has no hidden agenda.

Now, in this overall search for security and peace, the Israel-Palestine issue is very important: important in itself, because Israel’s security must be guaranteed and at the same time the Palestinians must be given the right to have a state.

More broadly, it’s a more important issue which has repercussions – President Abbas and I talked about this – on the whole region and on many situations in the world. Unless a problem as important as this is resolved, it has a series of consequences, including – and this is a concern for us all – on the rise of terrorism in a whole number of countries.

So in order for there to be no ambiguity, I repeat: it’s about setting out a number of ideas and listening to our interlocutors’ reactions. You know these ideas now: it’s about helping negotiations resume to achieve peace, because it’s the parties involved who must negotiate. Nobody can negotiate in their place, that’s obvious, but there are no negotiations for the time being. So the negotiations must be able to be resumed. That’s one aspect.

Another aspect in which, as I was saying, lessons are learned from past years is having an international support mechanism, group, committee, I don’t know what it should be called, so that – especially in the final stages of the negotiation, if the negotiation is to resume – this group can help complete these final stages. We’ve seen in the past, even when there have been negotiations, that people don’t manage to complete the final stages because one of the governments says, “ah, it’s not possible, it requires sacrifices which are too great”, and the other says the same, so there has to be support.

And there’s also this prospect of a Security Council resolution, but it’s not an end in itself. I fully appreciated what President Abbas said: “We must be realistic, a resolution is valuable if it can be adopted and it’s valuable if it’s applied. It’s not a resolution for the sake of a resolution.”

So this is about both a traditional and, in some respects, a slightly novel approach to the issues put to our interlocutors for consideration.

I want to thank President Abbas and my friend, his foreign minister, very much for lending their support to these ideas. Now of course, this is bound to be argued over later, but on the principle, the President was kind enough to lend his support to these ideas – these possible ways forward, so to speak. (…)

I repeated to President Abbas, as I will soon to the Israeli authorities, how essential it is for the parties involved to be able to pick up the thread of their dialogue themselves, and that we’re here to help and in no way to usurp anyone’s role, with a single aim: security and peace. (…)./.

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