Middle East peace process – Q&A – Excerpts from the daily press briefing (27.12.16)


Q - Do you have a response to the comments by the Israeli defense minister, who described the peace process hosted by France as a “modern Dreyfus trial” and called on the Jews of France to leave the country?

A - It will only be possible to build peace in the Middle East through tolerance, openness, and dialogue.

This is the attitude with which France proposed its Middle East peace initiative and intends to continue its efforts to host the conference on January 15.

Q - With regard to the conference of January 15, 2017, on the foreign ministers’ peace initiatives:
1. What is France’s official position with respect to these negotiations?
2. What are the repercussions of the UN Security Council’s decision last week? Will the proposals be altered in any way?
3. How much room to maneuver does France have in such a conference aimed at an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, given that France voted for the UN proposal, to the Israeli government’s deep displeasure? If you combine that with the election of Mr. Trump and the possibility of change in his policy on the subject, as well as the French elections in May 2017, what is the pertinence of such a conference?

A - As Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault announced on December 22, on January 15, France will host a conference in Paris as part of its Middle East peace initiative.

This conference comes in the wake of the ministerial meeting of June 3, which sparked the international community’s renewed commitment to peace in the Middle East. It will reiterate the international community’s support for two states living side by side in peace and security and facilitate the resumption of negotiations. The conference will be held at the ministerial level in a larger format than the ministerial meeting of June 3: 70 States and organizations are invited.

The meeting of January 15 will give the participants an opportunity to present a comprehensive incentive package to encourage the resumption of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Only they will be able to conclude a peace deal directly.

As Jean-Marc Ayrault reiterated, France wants to present the international community’s contribution to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the end of the January 15th conference.
Only the two-State solution will be able to establish a just and lasting peace guaranteeing Israel’s security, which the Security Council reaffirmed in its near-unanimous adoption of resolution 2334 on December 23. To that end, Israelis and Palestinians must refrain from any measures liable to undermine this solution.