France considers the Palestinian Authority to be the prefiguration of the Palestinian State. It maintains close ties with its President, Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, and its Prime Minister, Mr. Salam Fayyad.
The Donors’ Conference for the Palestinian State (Paris Conference), which was held in Paris on 17 December 2007, showed France’s political and diplomatic commitment to finding a political solution in the Near East. France reiterated its commitment to supporting the Palestinian Authority (grant of €68M per year) to operate public services and pay civil servants in Gaza and the West Bank.
The French President, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, made a State visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories from 22 to 24 June 2008, during which he reasserted France’s commitment to the creation of a Palestinian State and peace in the region (cf. the French President’s speech at the Knesset).
The Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Riad El Malki, participated in the summit on 3-4 November 2008 organized in the context of the Union for the Mediterranean: the Marseilles Declaration specifically calls on the parties to comply with their respective commitments in accordance with the road map to make a permanent resolution of the conflict possible on the basis of two States and acknowledges the relevance of the “Arab Peace Initiative”.
The French presidency of the Council of the European Union decided to strengthen the relations between the European Union and the Palestinian Authority. The first political dialogue was held in Ramallah on 1 December 2008.
In addition, on 26 July 2010, France announced the raising of the status of the General Delegation for Palestine in France, which became the “Mission of Palestine”, led by an ambassador, head of the Mission of Palestine.
France’s position on the peace process and the creation of the Palestinian State
France believes that resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict is the key to stability in the Near East and can be achieved only by recognizing the Palestinians’ right to self-determination and by guaranteeing Israel’s security. A lasting solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict entails just peace that is negotiated on all of the issues of the final status of the Palestinian Territories (borders, refugees, Jerusalem, security, water).
France has come down in favour of a political solution on the basis of resolutions 242, 338 and 1397 of the Security Council and the United Nations General Assembly, as well as on the basis of the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference and the Road Map. It supports the “Arab Peace Initiative”.
France is very involved in the search for a solution in the Near East and has continued to work for the creation of a Palestinian State, which President Mitterrand had recommended to the Knesset as early as 1982. It was also behind the adoption by the European Council of Seville (July 2002) of a declaration that recognizes the Palestinians’ right to build a State based on the borders of 1967. Finally, it organized and followed up on the Paris Conference for the construction of a Palestinian State. It favours the creation of a sovereign, independent, viable, contiguous, democratic and peaceful State, living alongside Israel with safe and recognized borders, and Jerusalem as capital of both States (French President’s speech at the Knesset in June 2008).
France condemned Hamas’ power grab in Gaza on17 June 2007, as well as the rocket fire against southern Israel and Hamas’ refusal to extend the truce. It also condemned Israel’s disproportionate use of force and the launch of a ground operation in December 2008. France calls for the establishment of a national entente government in the Palestinian Territories, which will be responsible for preparing the presidential and legislative elections. It is prepared to work with such a government if it complies with the principles of the Quartet and agrees to negotiate with Israel.
France is very concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and believes that the population must not be punished collectively for acts committed by armed groups. It calls for the blockade to be completely lifted and for the freedom of movement of people. For the full implementation of R.1860 on the fight against weapons trafficking, it also participates in the Gaza Counter Arms Smuggling Initiative (coordination of several countries to combat the trafficking of arms to Gaza).
Updated on 11.02.11