France repeated on Monday its support for an end to the 1967 occupation of Arab lands by Israel and a resolution to the final status issue that is needed to create a Palestinian State.
Commenting on the outcome of the Quartet talks held in Munich over the weekend, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said that France shared the priority of the Quartet which is clearly “a rapid resumption of negotiations.”
Israeli-Palestinian direct talks have broken down because of Israel’s refusal to halt illegal settlement-building, both in the occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem, where Israeli authorities have been displacing Arab residents, destroying their homes and are building illegal Jewish settlements.
The Quartet has several times deemed Israel’s settlement policy illegal, a violation of international law and of agreements that Israel made with the Quartet itself and with the Palestinians.
Nonetheless, France urged the Quartet “to assume a more active role” and especially to help specify parameters for the peace negotiations.
Palestinians complain bitterly about Israel’s refusal to set out parameters for talks.
Parameters “are necessary to advance towards the objective recalled by the Quartet: a peace settlement before the end of the year which will allow for the creation of a sovereign, viable Palestinian State, established on the basis of the 1967 borders, with possible exchanges of territory,” the French official pointed out.
He added that the Palestinian state should be able to live beside an Israeli State which would have safe and recognized borders.
On the question of Jerusalem, which Israel is trying to fully absorb in a land grab and which has been declared by Israel as its “eternal, indivisible” capital, Valero maintained that “Jerusalem is called up to become the capital of two States.”
The French official also remarked that Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie had addressed this issue in a meeting last weekend with US Secretary-of-State Hilary Clinton when they met on the sidelines of the International Security Conference which also took place in Munich.