National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice met with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority today in Ramallah. On Israeli- Palestinian negotiations, Ambassador Rice underscored that while we have come to a pause in the parties’ talks, the United States believes the only way to achieve lasting peace is through direct negotiations that lead to two viable, independent states living side-by-side in peace and security. As she did in her meetings with Israeli officials, Ambassador Rice emphasized with President Abbas the importance of each side managing the current situation in a way that reduces tensions and preserves space to pursue a two-state solution when both sides are prepared to take the decisions necessary to resume substantive negotiations.
Ambassador Rice underscored the United States' strong support for the continued development of Palestinian Authority institutions that deliver effectively for the Palestinian people, as well as the U.S. commitment to support economic development and opportunity for the Palestinian people. Ambassador Rice was also clear about the principles that must guide a Palestinian government in order for it to play a constructive role in achieving peace and building an independent Palestinian state. She reiterated U.S. policy that any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties. Ambassador Rice thanked President Abbas for his leadership and his longstanding commitment to these principles and his public statements that any government that is formed will be his government and represent his policies.
Prior to her meeting with President Abbas, Ambassador Rice had an opportunity to meet with Palestinian youth at an event hosted by the U.S. Consulate General to hear their views and underscore U.S. support for young Palestinians working for a more prosperous and hopeful future.
Middle East peace process
The Council discussed the state of play in the Middle East peace process and adopted the following conclusions:
“1. The EU is extremely concerned at recent developments related to the peace process. The EU has fully supported and praises US peace efforts deployed by Secretary of State Kerry and his team. The extensive efforts deployed in recent months must not go to waste.
2. A negotiated two-state solution remains the best way to resolve the conflict once and for all. The EU regrets that despite US efforts, greater progress has not been made by the parties to date in the talks. The EU urges the parties to use the coming weeks to find the common ground and political strength needed to resume this process and to make the necessary bold decisions. The EU remains determined to do all it can to support that goal, including through the offer of a Special Privileged Partnership, which will ensure unprecedented economic, political and security support for both parties in the event of a final status agreement.
3. The European Union recalls previous Council conclusions which have laid down its vision for a two-state solution resulting in an agreement on all final status issues, ending all claims, and fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of both parties. A one state reality would not be compatible with such aspirations.
4. The EU calls on all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid any unilateral action which may further undermine peace efforts and the viability of a two-state-solution, such as continued settlement expansion. The European Union will continue to closely monitor the situation and its broader implications, and will act accordingly.
5. The EU has consistently supported intra-Palestinian reconciliation on clear and certain terms. The EU looks forward to continuing its support, including through direct financial assistance, for a possible new Palestinian government composed of independent figures that commits to the principles set out in President Abbas' speech in Cairo on 4 May 2011. Such a government should uphold the principle of non-violence, and remain committed to achieving a two-state solution and to a negotiated peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict accepting previous agreements and obligations, including Israel's legitimate right to exist. The EU's engagement with a new Palestinian government will be based on its adherence to these policies and commitments. Reconciliation on these terms is an important element for the unity of a future Palestinian state and for reaching a two-state solution and a lasting peace. The EU welcomes the prospect of genuine democratic elections for all Palestinians.
6. The EU underlines that Mahmoud Abbas, as President of the PLO, remains fully in charge of the negotiation process and is mandated to negotiate in the name of all Palestinians and that the peace negotiations can and must be resumed.
Quartet Representative Tony Blair was in Jerusalem this week to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and discuss recent developments.
Mr. Blair met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and condemned the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers, Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frankel and Gil-ad Shaar. He also met with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.
In Ramallah, he met Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed Mustapha, as well as additional Palestinian figures.
PM Hamdallah briefed the Quartet Representative on the latest Palestinian political developments, as well as the initial efforts to reintegrate the Palestinian Authority institutions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Hamdallah also raised the issue of the ongoing hunger strike by Palestinians held in administrative detention in Israel. Mr. Blair’s meeting with Deputy PM Mustafa focused on the continuing efforts to roll-out the Initiative for the Palestinian Economy.
“I am deeply troubled by the ongoing events in Israel and the Palestinian territories, including the deaths of Palestinian civilians, and the wide-scale arrests. Israel must act with restraint when operating in populated Palestinian areas – including Gaza – and ensure that civilians are not harmed. Steps must also be taken to limit restrictions on movement and access in the West Bank.
“As I stressed last week in my meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, the international community utterly condemns the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers and calls for their immediate and unconditional release. I welcome President Abbas’s condemnation of this heinous act."
The General Secretariat of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Jeddah will host an expanded extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee at the level of foreign ministers on Thursday 10 July 2014 over the grave situation in the occupied State of Palestine, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif.
The Secretary General of the OIC, Mr Iyad Ameen Madani, extended invitations to foreign ministers of OIC Member States to attend the meeting. This is coming in light of the escalating sinister Israeli campaign in the entire Palestinian territories, the collective punishment of the Palestinian people and the burning of the Palestinian boy Muhammad Abu Khadir.
A final communiqué is expected to be issued at the end of the OIC Executive Committee meeting containing line of action for the concerned ministers at regional and international fora.
The Executive Committee consists of the Islamic Summit troika – Egypt, Senegal and Turkey, the Council of Foreign Ministers troika – Saudi Arabia, Guinea and Kuwait, and the OIC Secretary General.
1. The EU is extremely concerned about the fragile situation on the ground following the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip. It strongly welcomes the ceasefire which has been in place since 11 August and calls on all the parties concerned to agree on and abide by a durable ceasefire. The EU commends the considerable efforts and commitment of Egypt to broker this and earlier deals.
2. The EU remains concerned about the disastrous humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip particularly the conditions of the displaced population, water supplies, electricity services, unexploded ordnance as well as destroyed and uninhabitable homes. The EU calls for increased efforts to facilitate, in accordance with international humanitarian law, immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access into the Gaza Strip including for humanitarian personnel and supplies, and for the mobilisation of humanitarian aid for the population of Gaza.
3. The situation in the Gaza Strip has been unsustainable for many years and a return to the status quo prior to the latest conflict is not an option. A durable ceasefire must lead to a fundamental improvement in the living conditions for the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip through the lifting of the Gaza closure regime, and it must end the threat to Israel posed by Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza as demonstrated by rocket attacks and tunnel construction. All terrorist groups in Gaza must disarm.
4. In this context and subject to the requests of our partners based on the outcome of the Cairo talks, the EU reiterates its readiness to contribute to a comprehensive and sustainable solution enhancing the security, welfare and prosperity of Palestinians and Israelis alike. The EU will develop options for effective and comprehensive action in the following areas: movement and access, capacity building, verification and monitoring, humanitarian relief and post-conflict reconstruction and rehabilitation through international donor efforts including the eventual organisation of a donors' conference. The EU is ready to support a possible international mechanism endorsed by the UNSC, including through the reactivation and possible extension in scope and mandate of its EUBAM Rafah and EUPOL COPPS missions on the ground, including the launch of a training programme for Palestinian Authority customs personnel and police for redeployment in Gaza.
5. In line with UNSCR 1860, the EU is prepared to contribute to arrangements that prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition to the Gaza Strip and which can ensure the sustained re-opening of Gaza's crossing points. The EU will also study options for an internationally-supervised mechanism to enable full access and movement through all Gaza ports of entry.
6. The EU recalls that the situation in the Gaza Strip has to be seen within the broader context of the Middle East Peace Process and the prospect of comprehensive peace where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognised borders. This remains our ultimate objective. The Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 and will be part of a future State of Palestine. The situation in the Gaza Strip cannot and must not be seen separately from the broader challenges and developments on the ground that continue to make the prospect of the two-state solution increasingly difficult to attain.
7. The EU has demonstrated its commitment to working with the government of Prime Minister Netanyahu and with the Palestinian consensus government comprised of independent personalities under the leadership and expressed commitments of President Abbas, which must exercise its full government responsibilities in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip including in the field of security, civil administration and through its presence at Gaza's crossing points. The EU reiterates that commitment today.
“1. The EU is gravely concerned at the growing tension and increasing violence on the ground. It condemns all recent terrorist attacks and expresses its condolences for the loss of life. It urges all parties to refrain from any action that would worsen the situation by way of incitement, provocation, excessive use of force or retaliation. The EU calls on political leaders from all sides to work together through visible actions to de-escalate the situation. In this regard, the EU is particularly concerned at worrying developments and recurrent violent clashes at the Haram al- Sharif / Temple Mount. The EU appeals for full respect of the Holy Sites. Any change of the status quo would have deeply destabilizing effects. The EU fully acknowledges the role of Jordan as Custodian to the Muslim Holy Shrines in Jerusalem and welcomes the tripartite meeting in Amman on 13 November between King Abdullah, Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu where concrete steps towards a calming down of the situation were agreed upon. The EU looks forward to a swift and effective implementation of such measures.
2. Actions which call into question stated commitments to a negotiated solution must be avoided. The EU deeply deplores and strongly opposes the recent expropriation of land near Bethlehem, recent announcements of plans for new settlement construction, in particular in Givat Hamatos, Ramat Shlomo, Har Homa and Ramot, as well as plans to displace Bedouins in the West Bank and the continued demolitions, including of EU and Member States funded projects. It urges Israel to reverse these decisions which run counter to international law and directly threaten the two state solution. Recent settlement activity in East Jerusalem seriously jeopardizes the possibility of Jerusalem serving as the future capital of both states. Recalling that settlements are illegal under international law, the EU and its Member States remain committed to ensure continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlement products. The EU closely monitors the situation and its broader implications and remains ready to take further action in order to protect the viability of the two state solution.
3. The EU underlines its concern at the dire humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, which still remains to be adequately addressed, by urgently restoring basic infrastructures and services. It welcomes the international community pledges towards the reconstruction of Gaza. In light of the urgent needs of the people in Gaza, all these pledges should be swiftly honoured. The EU urges the parties to fully implement the temporary mechanism for monitoring and verification of reconstruction materials negotiated by the United Nations, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as an important step towards the necessary urgent opening of all crossing points. Whilst taking positive note of the recent one-off transfers of agricultural products and fish from Gaza to the West Bank, the EU stressed the importance of a change of the Israeli policy allowing Gaza to trade normally and on a permanent basis.
4. The EU calls for a fundamental change of the political, security and economic situation in the Gaza Strip, including the end of the closure. The parties should urgently make progress towards a durable ceasefire, based on their agreement in Cairo on 26 August, to reach an agreement that ends the Gaza closure and addresses Israel's legitimate security concerns. A return to the status quo prior to the latest conflict is not an option. The EU stands ready to play a key role in international efforts to support a durable ceasefire, including through the rapid reactivation and possible extension in scope and mandate of its EUBAM Rafah and EUPOL COPPS missions. The EU urges all the relevant parties to create the conditions to allow it to play such a role.
5. The EU supports the efforts of the Palestinian national consensus government and President Abbas and strongly encourages the Palestinian Authority to progressively assume its government function in the Gaza Strip, including in the field of security, civil administration and through its presence at the Gaza crossing points. The EU welcomes the convening of the first cabinet meeting in Gaza as a positive step and urges all Palestinian factions to end internal divisions. The EU is concerned by the recent bomb attacks against leading Fatah figures in Gaza.
6. The unsustainable situation in Gaza, the recent increase of violence in Jerusalem, and the deteriorating regional context underline the need for a comprehensive peace, ending all claims and fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of both parties, including those of Israelis for security and those of Palestinians for statehood. The EU welcomes Secretary of State Kerry's renewed efforts to help the parties return to the table and calls on the parties and on all major stakeholders, including the Quartet, the League of Arab States and the UNSC, to take the necessary steps to that end. In this regard, the EU reaffirms its strategic interest to see an end to the conflict and is willing to play a major role and actively contribute to a negotiated solution of all final status issues; it recalls parameters agreed in July 2014 Council conclusions. The EU welcomes the early visit to the region of the High Representative/Vice President of the Commission Federica Mogherini, underlining her engagement and that of the EU on this priority issue.
The EU recalls that the future development of the relations with both the Israeli and Palestinian partners will also depend on their engagement towards a lasting peace based on a two state solution."
Over the past few days, I’ve had very candid and constructive conversations with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, Secretary of State of the Holy See Cardinal Parolin, with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday in Rome, with EU High Representative Mogherini, and with my counterparts from Jordan, Egypt, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. And I will do the same today, the same kinds of conversations today, with Palestinian leaders who are here in London, with the Arab League Secretary-General Elaraby and his delegation who have come on behalf of the Arab League.
Now obviously, a focus of these conversations has been our deep concern about the situation on the ground in Israel and in the West Bank and the mounting calls from the international community to pursue diplomatic measures to try to address it. I want to be very clear: This isn’t the time to detail private conversations or speculate on a UN Security Council resolution that hasn’t even been tabled, no matter what pronouncements are made publicly about it. Many of us share a deep sense of urgency about this, given the constant threat of escalation and the dangers of a downward spiral of violence.
But we’re also very mindful that we have to carefully calibrate any steps that are taken for this difficult moment in the region. We all understand the challenges that are presented by this conflict. We all understand that there are pent-up frustrations on both sides and they run deep. We all know the risk of escalation. It’s constant and it’s real. And that is why it is imperative to lower the temperature, end the tension, so that we have an opportunity to find a path that Israelis and Palestinians both want so desperately, which is a path that leads out of the current predicament and actually provides people with an opportunity to touch, to feel, to see and know that there really is a prospect for genuine peace.
They want – everybody that I have talked to keeps talking to me – all the leaders on both sides keep talking to me about how they want a safe and secure future, and obviously, more hope for their people. All of the reasons that we engaged so intensely one year ago, a little more than that, and all the reasons that Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas were willing to engage – those reasons are even more compelling today. The status quo is unsustainable for both parties and for the region.
And no people should have to endure a barrage of rockets in the thousands or the threat of a terrorist jumping out of a tunnel armed with a tranquilizer, drugs, and handcuffs in order to snatch them out of the night and drag them back into another place where they can hold them hostage. No one should have to endure either of those things. But the Israelis saw that firsthand during the course of the Gaza conflict. And likewise, no community should have to endure the loss of thousands of its citizens, including hundreds of women and children, as the Palestinians experienced during the same conflict, during – due to the choices that Hamas made that led them nowhere.
The ongoing unrest of the last weeks has brought new tensions to all sides. And earlier this month, two Israelis were stabbed as they shopped for groceries in the West Bank. Two more were axed to death while praying. And we were all devastated and shocked by the acid attack against an Israeli family last week. Palestinians have mourned the death of a Palestinian official, Ziad Abu Ein, and they have suffered indefensible price tag attacks, so-called price tag attacks, including the recent burning of a mosque near Ramallah.
The cycle of violence leads to more violence and to nowhere. Peace is the only prospect, and people need to fight for it. Getting to a better place is obviously not easy, but the alternative is more of the violence and the suffering that no people anywhere should have to accept as the daily fare of their lives, as the price of being born Israeli or Palestinian. And we are focused – we, the United States, and our allies and our friends in Europe and in the Arab community are all focused on a different path. Our friends are focused on a path that could lead to a different future, and we will never hesitate to fight to go down that path.
And that is why the United States and our partners will remain deeply engaged not just with the Israelis and the Palestinians, but on the other conflict – conflicts, plural, that dominated our discussions during the course of this week.
But even as we look down this difficult road that’s before us and consider the complicated choices that we face, we simply cannot lose sight of the fact that that hard road leads to a better place. I’m convinced of that. The United States recognizes the deeply felt aspiration for peace shared by the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians, and we will continue to work with our friends and partners to find a path to the goal that we all share for a more peaceful and stable region.
So with that, I’d be happy to take some questions. And I don’t know who’s up or --
QUESTION: Thanks for giving us this time, Mr. Secretary. In the past, the U.S. has simply blocked resolutions at the UN that it feels threaten or undermine Israel. This time, you’ve made this trip to Europe to discuss various proposals with your counterparts. Can you tell us what has changed that’s led you to do this? And mindful of your concern about discussing details about resolutions, could you tell us what the U.S. would like to see or would need to see in a resolution to support it?
And finally, given the challenges that the U.S. has faced in trying to broker a Mideast peace deal over these many years, is it time for the process to become more of a multilateral affair? Thank you.
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, let me answer the last first. It’s always been a multilateral affair. There were always countries that are involved in it, but the United States clearly has a unique role to play as a result of our longtime friendship and relationship with Israel, and the role that we have played historically with respect to Camp David, Oslo and so forth. In the end, though, this isn’t up to the international community or others. This has to be decided by the parties. The parties have to want this more than anybody outside, and the parties have to make key decisions that can lead to the resolution.
Now, coming back to the first part of the questions, right now, what we’re trying to do is have a constructive conversation with everybody to find the best way to go forward in order to create the climate; the atmosphere; the political space, if you will, to be able to go back to negotiations and resolve this politically. Now, clearly, in the beginning of an election and in the middle of an election, it’s very difficult and complicated because we believe very deeply that nobody should somehow interfere or do something that might be perceived of as interfering in the course of that election, and we want to find the most constructive way of doing something that therefore will not have unintended consequences, but also can stem the violence.
It’s a particularly sensitive moment because we understand the frustrations of Palestinians. We understand the frustrations of the Palestinian Authority and President Abbas and those who are pushing hard, because they don’t see another course at this moment. So the key is to try to find out whether or not there are other options, other ways, other courses; could something be done that helps to respect the process that the Israelis are about to undergo, simultaneously respecting the needs of the region to de-escalate the tensions and avoid confrontation?
That’s what we hope to achieve, that’s what these discussions are all about, and we will continue to have these discussions this afternoon and on into the next days. But we’ve made no determinations other than that about any – about language, approaches, specific resolutions, any of that. We haven’t made any determinations.
Thank you Mr. President,
In recent years, no government has invested more in the effort to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace than the United States. Peace – however difficult it may be to forge – is too important to give up on. As we were reminded this summer in Gaza, and as we’ve been reminded too painfully recently in Jerusalem and the West Bank, the human consequences of ensuing cycles of violence are too grave. The United States every day searches for new ways to take constructive steps to support the parties in making progress toward achieving a negotiated settlement.
The Security Council resolution put before us today is not one of those constructive steps; it would undermine efforts to get back to an atmosphere that makes it possible to achieve two states for two people.
Regrettably, instead of giving voice to the aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis, this text addresses the concerns of only one side. It is deeply imbalanced and contains many elements that are not conducive to negotiations between the parties, including unconstructive deadlines that take no account of Israel’s legitimate security concerns. In addition, this resolution was put to a vote without a discussion or due consideration among Council members, which is highly unusual, especially considering the gravity of the matter at hand. We must proceed responsibly, not take actions that would risk a downward spiral.
We voted against this resolution not because we are comfortable with the status quo. We voted against it because we know what everyone here knows, as well – peace will come from hard choices and compromises that must be made at the negotiating table. Today’s staged confrontation in the UN Security Council will not bring the parties closer to achieving a two-state solution.
We voted against this resolution not because we are indifferent to the daily hardships or the security threats endured by Palestinians and Israelis, but because we know that those hardships will not cease and those threats will not subside until the parties reach a comprehensive settlement achieved through negotiations. This resolution sets the stage for more division – not for compromise. It could well serve to provoke the very confrontation it purports to address.
For decades, the United States has worked to try to help achieve a comprehensive end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and we remain committed to achieving the peace that both Palestinians and Israelis deserve: two states for two peoples, with a sovereign, viable, and independent Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security with a Jewish and democratic Israel.
The United States does not just acknowledge the tremendous frustrations and disappointments on both sides over the years in pursuit of peace; we share them. And we understand the immense challenges the parties need to overcome to make peace a reality. Yet at the same time, we firmly believe the status quo between Israelis and Palestinians is unsustainable.
The United States recognizes the role that this Council has played before in advancing a sustainable end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including through resolutions 242, 338, and 1515, which calls for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with both states “living side-by-side within secure and recognized borders.” In a May 2011 speech, President Obama elaborated further that “the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine…based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.” He made clear that the “Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”
The United States will continue reaching out to the parties in an effort to find a way forward, and we are ready to engage and support them when they are ready to return to the table. And we will continue to oppose actions by both sides that we view as detrimental to the cause of peace, whether those actions come in the form of settlement activity or imbalanced draft resolutions in this Council. The parties have a responsibility to negotiate and to own the hard choices that will be needed if they are to bring real and long-overdue change to their region to benefit their people.
Today’s vote should not be interpreted as a victory for an unsustainable status quo. Instead, it should serve as a wake-up call to catalyze all interested parties to take constructive, responsible steps to achieve a two-state solution, which remains the only way to bring an end to the ongoing cycle of violence and suffering. We hope that those who share our vision for peace between two states – Israel and Palestine, both secure, democratic, and prosperous – will join us in redoubling efforts to find a path forward that can rally international consensus, advance future negotiations, and provide a horizon of hope for Palestinians and Israelis alike. Thank you.
Jordan presented Tuesday December 30th a Palestinian draft resolution at the Security Council. Put to the vote, the draft failed to pass: 8 votes in favour, 2 votes against and 5 abstentions. After the vote, François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, pronounced the following explanation of vote:
Since the end of peace talks last April, the situation has deteriorated. We are facing two threats:
First, the necessary two-state solution is on the verge of becoming a mirage. The illegal continuation of settlement-building is straining the viability of a Palestinian state on the ground. In both Israel and Palestine, public
opinion is becoming radicalized.
Second, the violence is escalating, from Gaza to the West Bank by way of Jerusalem. The conditions are ripe for a general conflagration.
We are aware of the crux of the problem: the lack of a political future that meets the legitimate needs of both the Israeli and Palestinian people. For the Palestinians, the aspiration to a sovereign, independent state; for the Israelis, the guarantee of lasting security. These two legitimate demands can be resolved only by moving toward the solution familiar to us all: sharing territory in a way that makes it possible to forge two states for two people.
France believes in the possibility of a fair and definitive for both parties. We must give ourselves the means to achieve it. These means are collective. The successive failure of negotiations over the past 20 years reminds us that the peace process as we are conducting it must change. For largely domestic reasons, the parties cannot take alone the difficult decisions required to conclude negotiations. The United States cannot alone bear the burden of seeking this difficult peace. After more than 25 years of negotiations, the international community must share the weight of these negotiations and bear its share of the political and historical responsibility.
France is determined to help a method emerge that provides greater support for negotiations by the concerned international partners – i.e., the European Union, the Arab League and the permanent members of this Council – along with and in support of the major role played by Washington.
This collective effort must be based on the indisputable foundation that only the Security Council can provide, in order for the negotiations to be credible. It is up to us to determine internationally recognized parameters to resolve the conflict, and negotiations that lead to the satisfaction of the various claims.
That is what the Council and its members are here to do today. To fully exercise their responsibilities in the area of peacekeeping and international security.
It is for this purpose that we have constantly urged this Council to act, in order to establish a credible basis for peace. France wanted to offer – in the form of a draft resolution – a constructive, reasonable and consensual alternative to the initial Palestinian draft, in order for the Security Council to become a positive actor in the conflict rather than the theater of protests, theoretical declarations and successive vetoes.
Unfortunately, despite this positive approach and goodwill, no credible negotiations have gotten under way, while the deteriorating situation on the ground makes it imperative to act without delay.
Motivated by the urgent need to act, by the profound necessity to change our methods, by the responsibility incumbent upon each member of the Security Council, we therefore voted in favor of the resolution presented by Jordan.
That does not mean that this text is ideal. We have reservations about some of its formulations, and about the method adopted to present it. We would have preferred, and continue to wish for, an approach based on consensus in order to rally all the members of this Council around a clear and recognized vision: that of an independent, sovereign, democratic Palestinian State living in peace and security alongside Israel, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.
While the modalities of a solution that is fair to Palestinian refugees, or the details of security arrangements – notably the withdrawal of Israeli forces – fall within the scope of the agreement to be concluded by the parties, we can and must collectively establish the broad parameters of these negotiations. We must also establish a clear timetable for their completion – for how can negotiations be credible if they never end? The draft presented by
France provides for that.
France regrets that it isn’t possible to reach a consensus today on the points that should have the international community’s backing. But our efforts must not stop here; it is our responsibility to try again. Before it’s too late.
France will therefore continue its efforts.