Alain Juppe (R) 311.
(photo credit: Regis Duvignau / Reuters)
An agreed upon solution between Israel and the Palestinians is the only one that
will put an end to the status quo, the French Embassy said in a statement
released on Monday announcing the visit to the region of French Foreign Minister
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That comment is significant in light of Israeli efforts to
convince the Europeans that supporting Palestinian statehood at the UN in
September would be counterproductive.
This issue is expected to be a main
focus of Juppé’s talks here – his first as foreign minister – with Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense
Minister Ehud Barak.
Juppé will arrive on Wednesday evening from Rome,
where he is scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas, and during his two-day stay here is also scheduled to meet in Ramallah
with PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
Unlike Germany and Italy, which have
said they would not support a PA move to the UN in September, France and Britain
have signaled they may support this bid.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy
said in an interview earlier this month with the weekly magazine L’Express that
“if the peace process is still dead in September, France will face up to its
responsibilities on the central question of recognition of a Palestinian
Sarkozy said that “the idea that there is still plenty of time is
dangerous, we must finish.”
According to the embassy statement, Juppé
will stress to his interlocutors “the urgency of creating a constructive
dialogue between the two sides to reach an agreed upon solution, the only one
that has the ability to put an end to the current status quo.
tarried for too long, at a time when the parameters are known to everyone,” the
With it becoming increasingly likely that the US will
veto any Palestinian statehood resolution in the UN Security Council, the only
real question is whether the world’s democracies – and not only the Islamic and
developing countries that make up the Palestinian’s automatic majority in the UN
– will support a statehood resolution in the General Assembly and thereby give
the move a degree of moral legitimacy.
Recognizing the importance of the
European voice in this matter, both Israel and the Palestinians are busy
lobbying the various European governments. Israeli officials have said
that it is likely the EU will not vote as a block on this matter, and – as was
the case when the General Assembly voted on the Goldstone Commission report in
2009 – some will vote with Israel, some will vote against, and others will
Perhaps an indication of how the votes will fall in the General
Assembly in September, in the Goldstone Report vote, the Czech Republic,
Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia were the EU
countries that voted for Israel. The EU states voting against Israel were
Cyprus, Ireland, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia. And those abstaining were
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Latvia,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.