Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, received his Palestinian counterpart, Riad al-Malki, on Spetember 5.
They took stock of the situation in Jerusalem and in the Palestinian Territories: Mr. Le Drian reaffirmed France’s full commitment to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its attachment to the goal of two states living side by side in security within the borders recognized by the international community, with Jerusalem as the capital of these two states. He underscored that settlement activity, which is illegal under international law, was a threat to the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state in practical terms. He renewed France’s call for the Israeli authorities to refrain from any measure aimed at extending and perpetuating this activity. In this context, he condemned the expulsion on September 5 of a Palestinian family living in the Sheik Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
Inter-Palestinian reconciliation was also discussed. The minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs invited his counterpart to continue efforts in this direction as well as inter-Palestinian dialogue. He also mentioned his concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip which he was closely monitoring.
The two ministers also took stock of bilateral relations and ways to strengthen them. Mr. Le Drian confirmed that France would maintain budgetary aid at the same level as the previous year and discussed the holding of a second edition of the French-Palestinian intergovernmental seminar in Ramallah during the first half of 2018, following the success of the first meeting which brought together several French and Palestinian ministers. Mr. Le Drian reaffirmed France’s determination to continue to support the establishment of a future Palestinian state, and to develop its economy and French-Palestinian human exchanges.