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20 August 2010 - Middle East peace process - Launch of direct negotiations - Statement by the French authorities

(Unofficial translation)

Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic

President Sarkozy welcomes the announcement of the resumption of direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which he has tirelessly promoted through his many exchanges with President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu. He congratulates them on this courageous decision which also owes a great deal to the efforts of the Quartet and in particular the United States. The Palestinian and Israeli people want peace; the parameters of the solution have been known for a long time; time is of the essence for these two peoples, for the entire region and for the world.

France has continuously urged the two parties to resume the path of negotiation in order to achieve, on the basis of the parameters agreed by the international community, the two-State solution, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. Together with its EU partners it would like to continue efforts to support the process that has now been relaunched and proposes, in the context of advancing discussions between the parties, to organize a new donors’ conference aimed at supporting the construction of the future Palestinian State.

After a period of deadlock that has lasted too long, expectations are extremely high and must not be dashed. President Sarkozy encourages the leaders and the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to do everything to ensure that the new phase that is beginning will finally allow us to find a solution to the crisis that has lasted more than 60 years. He urges everyone to assume their responsibilities in order to seize the opportunity that is being presented. France will always stand alongside those who, in Israel and in the Palestinian Territories, take action to promote peace.

Statement by Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs

France welcomes the launch of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. I also commend the American efforts that have allowed this process, which is essential to ensuring peace in the region, to get under way.

In order to be constructive and to succeed, these negotiations should cover all of the final status-related issues, on the basis of the parameters agreed by the international community.

I urge the parties to demonstrate responsibility so that these negotiations can lead to rapid progress with a view to the creation of a viable, independent and democratic Palestinian State, living in peace and security alongside Israel.

President Sarkozy had the opportunity, during his most recent meetings with President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu, to assure them both of France’s full support and commitment with respect to achieving this objective.

France again urges the parties to refrain from any action likely to undermine future progress.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU