Understanding the issues regarding the initiative for the Middle East Peace Process in 3 minutes


Why launch an initiative?

Under the leadership of Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France wanted to take this political initiative because the situation in Israel and the Palestinian Territories is worsening due to the lack of prospects for negotiations. The two-State solution is under increased threat, particularly with regard to continued settlement activities. The crises engulfing the region have in no way reduced the significance of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is up to us to take action to recreate a political outlook which encourages renewed bilateral negotiations between the two currently deadlocked parties.

Who attended the ministerial meeting in Paris on 3 June?

This meeting brought together the main countries and international organizations involved, but without the Israelis and Palestinians for the moment. It will comprise the Middle East Quartet (United States, European Union, Russia, United Nations), the permanent members of the Security Council and the main Arab and European partners.

What exactly happened?

After the meeting has been opened by the President of the French Republic, the Foreign Ministers from the invited countries and the international partners reviewed the situation on the ground and the two-State solution. They then came to an agreement on the details for preparing an international conference, to take place by the end of the year, to which the Israelis and Palestinians will be invited. At the conclusion of this ministerial meeting, a joint statement was issued which firmly demonstrated the international community’s commitment to relaunching the peace process.

Can we really hope to achieve a result? Is it not just another initiative?

Each of us is well aware of the difficulties, but we cannot afford to do nothing. All our partners agree that the two-State solution is falling apart and that the current situation is dangerous. Our aim is to mobilize the entire international community so that it can actively support relaunching the peace process.

To achieve this, we must first together reaffirm our commitment to the two-State solution, which is the only solution which will ensure a fair and lasting resolution to the conflict.

But we must also convince each party that achieving peace is in everyone’s interests by bringing together the concrete contributions which all international partners are willing to make in the areas of politics, the economy, development and security so that negotiations can resume and be brought to a successful conclusion.

After that, what will be the next steps?

The ministerial meeting of 3 June is the first step: it set in motion joint work to organize an international conference to be held by the end of the year and which will bring together the entire international community around the Israelis and Palestinians in order to lay the foundations for a new peace process by providing a framework for negotiations and clear incentives to support it.

A senior officials’ meeting was held on 19 September alongside the United Nations General Assembly to carry out an initial assessment of the work underway.

Updated: September 2016