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Israel/Palestinian Territories

Published on June 24, 2015
Statements made by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, before his meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister (excerpts)
Jerusalem, June 21, 2015

Thank you very much, Prime Minister, for your kind welcome; I appreciate it.
I’ve been in the region for two days. I had the opportunity of meeting President Sisi and a number of ministers from the Arab countries. I had a meeting with the King of Jordan this morning, then with President Abbas early in the afternoon and now it’s my pleasure, following my meeting with the Israeli President, to be having a meeting with you.

This visit, although it’s quick, has one goal. As you know, France is committed to security and peace. You said some kind, valid things about France’s history and about what we’ve sought to share with others – including your country, of course. And one of the commitments we’ve always had is the commitment to security and peace. This is the case when you look at the Iran issue – I’ll say a few words about this – and when it comes to the so-called Israeli-Palestinian issue.

We’d like – this hasn’t been possible so far, which is very difficult – genuine peace, where Israel’s security is guaranteed, without which nothing is possible, and where, moreover, Palestinians enjoy their rights and can have a state; we’d like this to be able to come into existence. And, to remove any doubts – because I think there have been mistakes in the way this has been interpreted –, we in no way intend to bypass the negotiations aspect. It’s obviously for the negotiators, the parties, i.e. both Israel and the Palestinians, to hold discussions.

This doesn’t preclude there being international support. Today there’s the Quartet, which – putting it diplomatically – hasn’t been totally effective. But there needs to be international support, particularly for the final stages, because the final stages are often the toughest.

You talked about the resolution as well. A resolution is never an end in itself, it’s a means [to an end] and we’ve absolutely no intention of putting together a resolution for its own sake if it’s going to be rejected, if it isn’t going to be implemented. So I think that the few words I’ve just said and the conversation we’re going to have together will allow a judgment to be formed about this.

What are we talking about? Many people are worried. President Sisi, the King of Jordan, the Palestinians, the Israelis in another way and we ourselves are worried because of everything that’s happening in the world at large and because terrorists are connected; that’s the reality.

And if we don’t manage to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue, we risk having outbursts of violence. (…)

So the effort France is making is extremely specific and clear: we’d like to do everything in our power to promote peace and security in this region of the world and we’re asking the parties to negotiate. If we can help – when I say “we”, I don’t mean just France, I mean all those of goodwill –, we will. (…)

Otherwise, the friendship between Israel and France is one which dates back a long time. There are ups and downs. But what matters is that we’re committed to [tackling] the same root causes, and those words you said at the start – liberty, equality, fraternity, security and peace. And as we see it, there must be a solution to the nagging Israeli-Palestinian issue, which has gone on for many years. But there can’t be a solution if Israel’s security isn’t assured. Thank you./.

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