The minister of foreign affairs reaffirmed France’s support for the efforts to relaunch the peace process. He paid tribute to President Abbas’s determination to remain fully engaged in the negotiations and reaffirmed our constant position on settlement activity, which is illegal under international law.
France is in favour of a solution negotiated between the parties for all of the issues of the final status of the Palestinian Territories. Some of the priority issues are borders, refugees and the status of Jerusalem.
France believes that resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict is the key to stability in the Near East and can be accomplished only by guaranteeing Israel’s security, while recognizing the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. Since the Oslo agreement was signed, France has continued to work toward the creation of a peaceful Palestinian state alongside Israel, the creation of which President Mitterrand had advocated before the Knesset as early as 1982. France was also behind the Seville European Council’s (July 2002) adoption of a declaration recognizing the Palestinians’ right to establish a State on the basis of 1967 borders.
Since the resumption of clashes in 2000, France has systematically condemned the Palestinian party’s use of terrorism. France feels that the Palestinian Authority is the prefiguration of the Palestinian State and that it is thus necessary to protect it as an institution and maintains normal, fruitful relations with its President, Mr. Abbas.
On 6 and 7 September 2005, the Foreign Affairs Minister travelled to the Palestinian Territories. His visit was followed by that of the President of the Palestinian Authority to France on 17 October 2005. Mr. Abbas visited France again in February 2007. Soon after the national union government was formed, Foreign Affairs Minister Ziad Abu Amr visited France on 1 and 2 April 2007.
This political dialogue is enhanced by the many contacts at the level of parliament and territorial communities.