Israeli Foreign Ministry Official: If Trump Delays Peace Plan, France Will Offer Alternative

Foreign Ministry political director told closed meeting that France is waiting until after U.S. midterms to present their Israeli-Palestinian peace plan: 'The elections in November are critical for Israel'

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France's President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly, New York, September 24, 2018
France's President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly, New York, September 24, 2018Credit: Carlos Barria/Reuters

France will submit its own plan a few weeks after the U.S. midterm elections if U.S. President Donald Trump does not lay out his peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Foreign Ministry Political Director Alon Ushpiz said Tuesday in a closed meeting.

Speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, as reported Tuesday night on television news shows, Ushpiz said that France were waiting for the elections, after which they would demand that Trump make his plan public, otherwise they would reveal their own plan.

“The elections in November are critical for Israel. A third of the members [of Congress] will be replaced and it’s not clear if they are all for us. We are starting from zero. We believe the Democrats will grow stronger and therefore there’s an effect on Israel due to their influence on Trump,” Ushpiz said.

Speaking of efforts to reach an agreement with Hamas, Ushpiz said: “We have been unable to persuade diplomats and government officials who have visited Gaza. In light of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, our people can’t do much. Nothing will help,” he said. Ushpiz also said the move of foreign embassies to Jerusalem was a political matter that did not involve the Foreign Ministry and that the ministry had not been given the task of moving embassies to Jerusalem.

The Foreign Ministry said in response: “The report is full of mistakes and imprecisions. Beyond this, we will not discuss confidential discussions. We checked again and there are things here that are very incorrect and unfortunately we cannot give details because of the secret nature of the forum.”

The French Embassy in Israel said: “The embassy does not know what the journalist is referring to. President Macron and Prime Minister Netanyahu have a relationship of confidence and they discuss each and every subject openly.”