'Kouchner considered declaring Palestinian state'

WikiLeaks: Former French FM told Mitchell of idea to recognize Palestinian state "regardless of the outcome of negotiations" with Israel in Jan 2010.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 28, 2010 15:26
1 minute read.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner

311_bernard kouchner. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Former French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner in January 2010 had already discussed with the US the idea of recognizing a Palestinian state regardless of the outcome of negotiations with Israel, a US cable released by WikiLeaks revealed.

The cable was written by US ambassador to France Charles Rivkin to prepare US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her first bilateral trip to France since entering into her position.

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"The French agree with us on the need to help [Palestinian Authority] President [Mahmoud] Abbas return to the negotiating table by offering assistance programs, guarantees, and the support of Arab leaders. However Kouchner also mentioned to SE [George] Mitchell the controversial idea of offering to recognize a Palestinian state now, with undefined borders, or offering to recognize a Palestinian state within a defined timeline, regardless of the outcome of negotiations," the cable stated.

Rivkin labeled French President Nicolas Sarkozy as "impatient" in regard to the Middle East peace process, saying he often tries to rush events ahead of US plans.

Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay recently decided to formally recognize a fully independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.

Earlier this month, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution opposing unilateral steps to create a Palestinian state.

Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat slammed the action saying, "through the passage of this resolution, the US Congress is contradicting the policy of the American government to create a Palestinian state by hindering the ability of the Palestinians to navigate around the Israeli government's obstructionist policies."

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