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Middle East peace process - (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - June 2, 2012)

Q : There are several visits planned that involve Mr. Fabius. Are things moving between the Israelis and the Palestinians? Are the French in the process of taking initiatives?

A : I want to remind you what our minister of foreign affairs said at Sciences Po two days ago. He delivered a speech at this conference that was significant in several ways. He addressed many issues, notably the Middle East peace process of course.

I mention this because it addresses your question in full: “We’re also paying very close attention to the situation in the Middle East, where the relaunch of the peace process is crucial to stabilizing and pacifying the “new Arab world” – because the main topic of the conference was the Arab Springs a year and a half on. The changes under way in the region are giving rise to fresh expectations among the Palestinians and may affect Israel’s security situation. The lack of progress in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which could foster radicalism in Muslim societies is in no way a foregone conclusion. France is mobilized to avoid taking this easy option. There’s not likely to be many changes ahead of the American elections but we must take the initiative once again because the right to create a viable Palestinian State and to ensure Israel’s security isn’t just a theoretical refrain, it’s an absolute necessity for the world, for the entire region and for France.” Our efforts reflect the attention we’re paying to this issue - our continued and sustained attention to the situation. We’re also mobilized on this issue as we are on many other major foreign policy issues and we try to move things forward in every discussion that we have.

I can confirm that on the basis of what Laurent Fabius said 2 days ago here in Paris, we will continue to be mobilized and continue to not give in to the temptation or take the easy option of accepting failure as inevitable.



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