France Denies Dropping UN Bid to Restart Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks

French Foreign Ministry says it will continue pushing for Security Council resolution if it gains a consensus; 'we haven't given up.'

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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An archive photo from August 24, 2013, shows Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, and France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius shaking hands following their meeting in Ramallah.
An archive photo from August 24, 2013, shows Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, and France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius shaking hands following their meeting in Ramallah.Credit: Reuters
ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

The French Foreign Ministry said Wednesday it does not intend to give up on its bid to advance a UN Security Council resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The statement was released in wake of comments made a day earlier by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki, who said that France had dropped the initiative.

"We haven't given up," the French Ministry said. "We will push for a UNSC resolution on Israel-Palestine as long as it gains a consensus that would allow it to be implemented."

The French Foreign Ministry spokesman said in the statement that for the past few months France has been making efforts to create diplomatic possibilities vis-à-vis the stalled peace process and the deteriorating situation, and that it intends to continue doing so.

"We have presented a few ideas, including international support that would help the sides restart the negotiations and define the parameters for ending the conflict," the spokesman said. "We have reached the conclusion that a Security Council resolution could help."

The statement further said that during Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius' visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah last month, he raised several ideas for promoting the peace process, including a Security Council resolution and the establishment of a framework, with regional and international participation, that would "help the sides reach the decisions necessary for peace."

Al-Malki, the Palestinian foreign minister, told the Voice of Palestine radio station on Tuesday said that "the French initiative to put forward a UN Security Council resolution based on the two-state solution and renewing peace talks is no longer topping the agenda of French leadership and they have withdrawn [from the idea]."

Al-Malki reportedly further claimed that the French change of heart was a result of pressure by Israel and the U.S., with the latter reportedly saying that the bid should remain off the diplomatic docket until a deal is reached with Iran.

Senior Palestinian officials in Ramallah who spoke with Haaretz said that al-Malki's comments were not entirely accurate, and that it was more his analysis of the updates he had received on the matter than information based on an official decision by the French.

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