Minister says there is "positive attitude" towards French Middle East initiative
Israel/Palestinian Territories – Statements by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, during his joint press conference with Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs
Paris, 8 April 2016
Q. – Concerning the Middle East, can you tell us how far things have got with the French initiative? I’d like to know if the Palestinians’ plan to submit a text to the Security Council to condemn settlement activity in the West Bank risks complicating your initiative?
THE MINISTER – We’re discussing it with the Palestinians, explaining to them in more detail the French demarche, which we’d like to see succeed, in several stages. The first stage is in fact a ministerial-level meeting, for which we’ve now got to set a date swiftly and specify the agenda, which we’re going to do. That’s the next stage, and M. Pierre Vimont, my special envoy, is continuing his mission and has already met many partners. At the moment, what’s emerged is a generally open, positive attitude towards the French initiative. We also talked to Ioannis about this a few moments ago and I think he too approves of the demarche and supports it. We’ve met with no refusal. Obviously the next stage will be the ministerial meeting. But France, at any rate, is absolutely determined not to make do with the status quo.
I’ll be at the G7 in Hiroshima, Japan, this weekend, and as I’ll see my counterparts there I’ll have the opportunity to talk about this plan, this demarche, to John Kerry in particular, because we’d obviously like the United States to be fully involved in the initiative and we’ve already started discussing it./.