French again meddling in Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail:

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail:





French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault

In what many Israelis consider to be misplaced concern, the French are working to put together a summit on the Israeli-Palestinian issue – without the Israelis or Palestinians – and will likely push Israel toward concessions that would threaten the national and security interests of the Jewish State. 

The French foreign minister has confirmed that Paris will host an international meeting on May 30 to try to restart peace efforts between Palestinians and Israel — even though both sides will be absent.

Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Friday Arab nations will be among the 20 countries present, but “for the moment there is no dialogue” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Ayrault, speaking on Europe 1 radio, said new efforts are needed because “we are witnessing desperation, and desperation leads to violence.”

France has pushed to play a larger role in Middle East peace efforts, dominated by the United States.

“I think we must unify our efforts,” Ayrault said. Still, he added without elaboration his hope that “before the end of his mandate (President Barack) Obama will take an initiative.”

The Palestinians said Thursday they strongly support the French initiative.

Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Al-Malki

Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Al-Malki. (MOFA)

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki, who has openlydeclared the Palestinians will never negotiate directly with Israel, said Palestinian and French leaders agreed during meetings in Paris a few days ago that the French initiative should move ahead and not be jeopardized “in any way” by Palestinian efforts to get the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution that would condemn Israeli settlements as an obstacle to peace.

He said the draft resolution has been given to Arab ambassadors and an Arab ministerial committee will be meeting very soon to decide when to give “the green light” to circulate the draft resolution to the 15 council members.