France warned the Israeli government Friday that if Paris fails to break an impasse in the following weeks in the peace talks between Palestine and Israel, its government will recognize the state of Palestine, the Foreign Ministry announced.
“If this attempt to achieve a negotiated solution reaches a dead end, we will take responsibility and recognize the Palestinian state,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.
The diplomat explained that as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, France has the responsibility to maintain efforts to find a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.
Therefore, Fabius added, “France will engage in the coming weeks in the preparation of an international conference bringing together the parties and their main partners, American, European, Arab, notably to preserve and make happen the solution of two states.”
Fabius said he had high hopes that Israel and Palestine will participate in the international peace summit.
The peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians have been at an impasse since 2014, when they decided to end their meetings, as did the other key international players, including the U.S., the European Union member states and Arab nations.
“Unfortunately, (Israeli) settlement construction continues. We must not let the two-state solution unravel,” he said.
If a statement by an unidentified Israeli official to Haaretz newspaper is confirmed, France will in fact end up recognizing the Palestine state in the coming weeks, because the source said Israel will reject the French peace initiative.
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Earlier this month, the Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki discussed with French officials in Paris the possibility of proposing a U.N. Security Council resolution declaring that the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank are an obstacle to a peaceful solution between the two states.
Sweden became the first EU nation to recognize Palestinian statehood in October 2014. Shortly later, the U.K. did the same.
In January of 2015, the first Palestinian Embassy opened in Stockholm, Sweden.
In September 2015, the Palestinian flag was hoisted at U.N. headquarters for the first time as a symbolic gesture in the territory’s quest for statehood.
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