Israel/Palestinian Territories – Conversations between Catherine Colonna and her Egyptian, Turkish and Saudi counterparts (17 november 2023)


Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is continuing her active efforts in the context of the crisis in Gaza. She spoke on the telephone today to her Egyptian, Turkish and Saudi counterparts, Mr Sameh Shoukry, Mr Hakan Fidan and His Highness Prince Faisal bin Farhan respectively. The conversations followed, among other things, two meetings between Mme Colonna and the Prime Minister and the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Palestinian Authority on 9 and 13 November 2023.

The Minister set out to each of her three interlocutors the initial results of France’s efforts, according to the three key priorities for action laid down by President Macron.

Regarding security, she emphasized the need to forge ahead in the fight against terrorism, a scourge hitting the whole region and also France. Proposals had been made by the Europeans, and France wished to strengthen coordination with its partners to this end.

On humanitarian aid, Mme Colonna thanked her counterparts for their countries’ participation in the Paris [Humanitarian] Conference for the Civilian Population in Gaza on 9 November, which confirmed an international consensus in support of an immediate, durable and sustained truce guaranteeing that aid could get through and meet civilians’ needs. The ministers took stock of actions under way to help civilians, and agreed to remain in close touch. France had already sent more than 100 tonnes of humanitarian cargo to Arish, Egypt. It was continuing efforts and coordination with the partners to ensure that a humanitarian truce could actually be concluded, to let more aid through via the Rafah Crossing Point and other crossings if necessary.

Regarding the political pillar, the Minister called on her partners to launch joint efforts straight away, aimed at restoring a political perspective responding to the Palestinians’ legitimate aspirations, and reviving the two-State solution. We could no longer make do with simply invoking this perspective; it was necessary to take action.

Finally, the Minister reiterated the absolute necessity of getting the hostages held by Hamas freed, and took stock with her counterparts of the latest developments on this.

The Minister agreed with each of her interlocutors that they would continue closely coordinating in the coming days and weeks.