Official speeches and statements - December 29, 2017
1. Israel and Palestinian Territories - Status of Jerusalem - Statements by Mr. Emmanuel Macron, President of the Republic, during his joint declaration with Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine (Paris - December 22, 2017)
Ladies and gentlemen,
So, I had a meeting a moment ago with Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, a few months after our last meeting in Paris on 5 July. And obviously over the past few weeks in particular, we’ve had many telephone conversations.
I really want to thank the President for being here in Paris today and for the very productive discussion we’ve just had, in grave circumstances, and a few days after the discussion I had with King Abdullah II of Jordan.
The Israel-Palestine issue was obviously at the heart of our discussions. I reiterated to President Abbas that I didn’t approve of the American President’s decision on Jerusalem. And I reaffirm my commitment here to international law, the relaunch of a political process and the goal of establishing a just, lasting peace, which is essential for stability between Israelis and Palestinians.
And this peace can exist only through negotiation between the two parties, which we can facilitate, which we can help bring about, but we can’t take its place.
On this point, I want to be very clear: there’s no alternative to the two-state solution, and no two-state solution without agreement between the parties on Jerusalem.
As you’ve seen these past few weeks during the meetings of the Arab League, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, United Nations Security Council and United Nations General Assembly, the Palestinian people’s aspirations constantly strike a powerful chord with the international community.
Palestine is not alone, and we’ll ensure that it lives within safe, recognized borders in security alongside Israel, with Jerusalem as capital of the two states.
I know that demonstrations continue today and I’d like to thank President Abbas for his commitment to calming things down. From the outset, he has demonstrated a very great sense of responsibility and called for calm. France rejects any violence, wherever it comes from, and calls for restraint.
France is Palestine’s friend and we shall stand at its side in the coming months, as we’ve done the past few weeks in New York, Brussels and Istanbul, with our desire to continue dialogue and constructive work with Israel.
This is why, when I hosted the Israeli Prime Minister a few days ago, I asked him to make courageous gestures to help resume the negotiations. I think it’s France’s role to be committed to stability and security in the region, to Palestine’s place and the Palestinians’ security, and to security for the Israelis.
Indeed, I asked the Israeli Prime Minister to help resume the negotiations. I asked him right here publicly to halt settlement activity, which is undermining any prospect of Palestinian sovereignty and the desire to safeguard a credible political objective.
This political objective will also be sustained by the ongoing process of inter-Palestinian reconciliation, which you want to see. I also talked to the President about the huge importance I attach to the process and I know how much energy you’re devoting to this. France welcomed the Cairo agreement between Hamas and Fatah and the ensuing efforts. They must be continued in order to allow the effective return of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza.
This commitment to peace is essential in the period that lies ahead of us. And here I renew the appeal for everyone to remain calm and act responsibly, particularly at holy sites, as important religious feasts get under way.
This appeal for peace and responsibility also stems from our desire to keep everyone’s hopes alive, hopes for a political solution that is within reach and will allow long-term stability.
On the whole Israel-Palestine issue, France and the European Union will remain mobilized to support each party in the negotiation and on the path towards a fair, balanced solution.
On 22 January, President Abbas will go to Brussels, when the European Union and Palestinian Authority will be able to deepen their relations in the light of recent developments.
In 2018, there will be as full a bilateral agenda; I’ll be paying an on-the-spot visit to Palestine and Israel to continue our discussions, on the peace process in particular.
The Prime Minister will also be going to the region to lead the second intergovernmental seminar, during which France and Palestine will strengthen their bonds of support and friendship.
Thank you, and thanks again, Mr President, for your presence and commitment.