Two-state solution prospect mustn’t be abandoned - Minister
Israel/Palestinian Territories – United States – Excerpts from the interview given by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, to TV5 Monde
Paris, 19 February 2017
Q. – There’s a matter on which there’s genuine deadlock, Israeli-Palestinian relations, and actually things have in a way been disrupted now with the Trump administration. What is France’s position going to be on this? Can something still be done to overcome it?
THE MINISTER – Let me remind you that we held a conference in Paris on 15 January at which 70 countries were represented with the United Nations, European Union and Arab League. This was a few days before President Trump officially took office in the United States. It didn’t prevent us from taking action. And it provided an opportunity for us to reiterate, strongly, that the two-state solution was the only prospect for ending this conflict.
On the one hand, settlement activity is continuing but has been condemned by the United Nations Security Council. On the other hand, there was Prime Minister Netanyahu’s meeting with President Trump, which concluded extremely ambiguously, particularly as regards the prospect of two states, as Rex Tillerson confirmed. I have to tell you that I’m worried, and we’re not going to stop repeating, to the United States in particular – because it has its role in the two-state solution to contribute to the negotiation between Palestinians and Israelis – that, indeed, this prospect mustn’t be abandoned. I told Mr Tillerson that if it [the US] abandons this prospect, it runs the risk of creating tremendous frustration and allowing despair to set in, which contributes to Daesh [so-called ISIL] propaganda in the region. My Jordanian colleague told me the same thing. So interfering, for example, as regards Jerusalem – moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – would be a very serious mistake, and every country in the region agrees. We’ve continually warned the United States and reminded it that the prospect of two states is one which restores hope to the Palestinians but also contributes to Israel’s peace and security, to which we are committed – as are the Americans. (…)./.