France proposes 18-months to Israel for two state solution

French Foreign Ministry sends unofficial draft giving Israel 18 months to agree with Palestine

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

According to the French Magazine Le Figaro, French Foreign Ministry unofficially presented a draft to the Arab League and members of the UN Security Council announcing that they reduced the deadline from two years to 18 months for Israel to reach an agreement with Palestine.

Le Figaro reported that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius proposed recognition of Palestine state by French government in case Israel and Palestine cannot reach an agreement.

Fabious had two motives behind his proposal, solving Palestine-Israel problem until President Francois Hollande’s resignation in 2017 and stopping Israel to build settlements in West Bank, according to Le Figaro.

The draft proposal suggested "a just solution, that is balanced and realistic regarding the Palestinian refugees."

The French Foreign Ministry wanted Israel to accept the 1967 Palestinian borders which  "guarantees the security of both Israel and the Palestinians, with effective oversight over borders, and prevents the reappearance of terror and the smuggling of munitions."

The report also prioritised "the sovereignty of the demilitarised Palestinian state, including the complete, though phased, withdrawal of the Israeli army during a transitional stage, the length of which will be agreed between the parties."

In April, after the Israeli elections the French government prepared a draft for the UN Security Council about Palestine promoting pre-1967 borders and declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Palestine.

The upper house of parliament in France had also voted to urge the government’s recognition of Palestine in December, a move which was slammed by Israel.

EU policy chief Mogherini’s visit to Palestine

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday as part of her 24-hour trip to the Middle-East as part of the EU’s efforts to revive the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

During the meeting President Abbas reaffirmed his commitment to the two-state solution saying “Israel must halt all settlement building and accept a two-state formula."

Mogherini also said the EU was also committed to the peace process and the Palestinians have the right to an independent state.

US point of view

According to Israel’s Walla news site, the former US envoy Martin Indyk said the US government “may deal with France’s draft resolution about Israel and Palestine after September.”

Indyk added that since the US deals with Iranian nuclear programme now and the government does not want any controversy with Israel, it will not pay attention to French proposal.

"The French will not submit the draft resolution to the UN Security Council while the US threatens to veto it. They are aware that if they do so before September that is what is going to happen," he said.

"If the US administration sees that the French draft resolution is imbalanced, it will submit another draft resolution that will include things that may not be favoured by both parties."

Recognition of Palestinian state

According to the Palestinian Authority, around 135 countries have recognised the state of Palestine including several that are now EU members.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestine collapsed in April last year when the West Bank’s Fatah and Gaza’s Hamas authorities declared a unity government in response to continued illegal settlement building by Israel in occupied areas.

A bloody onslaught on Gaza erupted just a few months later, resulting in the deaths of around 2,200 Palestinians, at least 66 percent of whom were civilians. Meanwhile, 72 Israelis were also killed, mainly soldiers.

The cause for the recognition of Palestine was furthered when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to prevent the establishment of the State of Palestine during his pre-election campaign.

His vow frustrated a number of countries, including Israel’s main ally the US, with President Barack Obama saying Washington may “re-assess” its relationship with Israel after Netanyahu’s words threatened to jeopardise the ongoing peace process for a two-state solution.

TRTWorld and agencies