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Published on February 27, 2008
Statements made by M. Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, during his joint press conference with M. Ehud Barak, Israeli Deputy, Prime Minister and Minister of Defense,(excerpts)

Paris, January 23, 2008

THE MINISTER – It was a pleasure to have a meeting with the Israeli Defence Minister, Mr Ehud Barak, and his VIP delegation. (…)

We obviously talked about the Gaza situation. I expressed France’s feeling about the humanitarian situation in Gaza, which is intolerable. I also reiterated to Mr Ehud Barak that we condemn, just as firmly, the way Israeli territory is constantly being hit by rockets fired from Gaza. It’s a position we always defend as even-handedly as possible, even though it isn’t always easy. (…)

[*Q. – As regards the possible solutions for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.*]

THE MINISTER – There won’t be a military solution either in Gaza or the Middle East as a whole. We need a political solution. Our contribution, France’s, that of the follow-up group to the Paris [Donors’] conference, is to try and set the example for the change which needs, has to be made in Palestinians’ daily lives. First of all on the West Bank but, at the same time, in Gaza (…). The projects we’re supporting, which we have to implement, are for all the Palestinian people and we’re going to pursue our action very tenaciously. (…)./.

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