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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: France
14 September 2006



Visit of M. Philippe Douste-Blazy to the Palestinian Territories (Ramallah, September 14, 2006)

Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy visited the Palestinian Territories on Thursday, September 14.

He met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in order to discuss the prospects for the formation of a national unity government and continuation of the peace process.

"He document President Mahmoud Abbas has just given me is now going to be studied in great detail. Obviously, we remain very committed to the three principles laid down by the Quartet: recognition of Israel, recognition of the Oslo Accords and explicit public renunciation of violence. It’s also obvious that this national unity government, if it were established, would have to be formed not only of representatives of Hamas and the PLO, but also of civil society. It’s important to look at the allocation of the posts, the programme, the question of the release of Corporal Shalit and what happens with respect to violence in the region."

VISIT TO THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
PRESS BRIEFING GIVEN BY
M. PHILIPPE DOUSTE-BLAZY,
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
(EXCERPTS)


(Ramallah, 14 September 2006)

THE MINISTER – I've come here to tell the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, how much we support him in the efforts he's making to get a national unity government established in the very near future. If such a government were to be formed, and take the international community's demands on board, I think it important to state formally that the international community's attitude on our contacts with it would then have to be reassessed, as would the help we could provide it.

Let's not forget that nearly a million people depend on the civil servants who haven't been paid for nearly six months. People need to know that the humanitarian situation is very difficult and that the temporary international aid mechanism has, regrettably, not been completely put in place.

The European Union, and particularly France, are asking the international community to do their utmost to get the peace process relaunched very quickly through the Quartet, so that Messrs Olmert and Abbas can finally talk to each other and relaunch the political process which is the only solution for the region's stability.

Q. – Should the financial assistance go back to what it was before the Palestinian parliamentary election?

THE MINISTER – As regards the financial assistance, people have to understand that the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian Territories, and particularly in Gaza, is absolutely catastrophic. The infant mortality rate is very high and civil servants' salaries haven't been paid for nearly six months.

In this respect, I think it's very important today to ask Israel to reopen her two border posts – particularly at Rafah which is monitored by the European Union – and pay back to the Palestinian Authority the taxes she has levied on all products entering the Palestinian Territories. I believe this is important and will allow the dignity of the Palestinians in the Territories to be respected and resumption of a political process. Because if this doesn't happen we are well aware of where humiliation and poverty leads: to the radicalization of peoples.

(…)

Q. – In order to resume the aid, could France be satisfied with a more implicit recognition (of Israel) than a clearly announced one? Is the National Understanding Agreement sufficient?

THE MINISTER – The document President Mahmoud Abbas has just given me is now going to be studied in great detail. Obviously, we remain very committed to the three principles laid down by the Quartet: recognition of Israel, recognition of the Oslo Accords and explicit public renunciation of violence. It's also obvious that this national unity government, if it were established, would have to be formed not only of representatives of Hamas and the PLO, but also of civil society. It's important to look at the allocation of the posts, the programme, the question of the release of Corporal Shalit and what happens with respect to violence in the region.

It's a bit early to talk about this, I've come simply to give our support to the efforts President Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, is making to get the early establishment of a national unity government which would take on board the international community's demands. That would change a lot of things and allow us to reassess our position on political contacts and the financial support./.


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