|Working visit of the Palestinian Authority President to France (April 27-28, 2006)|
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made a working visit to France on April 27 and 28.
On April 28 Mr. Abbas was received by President Chirac.
The speaker of the National Assembly hosted a dinner in his honor on April 27.
Mahmoud Abbas met with Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy for a working luncheon on April 28.
The visit was the second the president of the Palestinian Authority had made to France since becoming head of the Palestinian Authority in January 2005. It came at a critical time when the Quartet and especially the European Union were asking the new Hamas-led Palestinian government to renounce violence and recognize Israel and the Oslo Agreements.
The issue of how to continue international aid to the Palestinians was be at the center of the talks. As President Chirac has emphasized, it was important to consider ways and means so that aid to the Palestinian people, which was necessary for political, humanitarian and economic reasons, could be continued.
The visit afforded an opportunity to discuss the internal political situation in the Palestinian Territories and the prospects for a resumption of the negotiated political process between Israelis and Palestinians. The French authorities reaffirmed their support to Mahmoud Abbas in his action.
France continued to support the Palestinians in realizing their legitimate aspirations for a Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security. It reiterated at this time its resolve to encourage the two sides, Israeli and Palestinian, to resume the path of negotiations.