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Middle East peace process

Middle East peace process

Published on June 11, 2009
Statement by Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

Paris, June 14, 2009

France, together with her European partners, and the United States are working together for the resumption of the peace process and the swift creation of a viable and democratic Palestinian State living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security. Senator Mitchell – whom I met today – and I reiterated this common goal.

In this context, I can only welcome the prospects outlined by the new Israeli Prime Minister for a Palestinian State. France is convinced that this is in the very interest of Israel and her security. From this standpoint, the speech was a step forward.

But if peace is to be achieved, much more needs to be done, without setting preconditions for negotiations. Both parties now need to define what this Palestinian State would be and address all final status issues, especially the status of Jerusalem, borders and refugees. If the Parties so wish, France and Europe are prepared to provide guarantees to implement such an agreement.

Finally both parties need to regain trust in one another and the situation on the ground needs to change. In this regard, France, together with her European partners, and like the United States and the entire international community, is calling for an immediate freeze on settlements and a reopening of Gaza border crossings./.

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