French FM: Status quo between Israel and Palestinians risks ‘explosion of violence’ 20Sep11 September 20, 2011

Haaretz  -  19 September 2011


French FM said on Monday that the status quo between Israel and the Palestinian is neither acceptable nor tenable, and “posed a risk of an explosion of violence.” Alain Juppe added he is scheduled to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later on Monday.

Abbas said Monday that he expects a “very difficult” situation after the Palestinians submit their request for full membership at the United Nations General Assembly, the French news agency AFP reported.

Speaking upon his arrival in New York ahead of the opening of the General Assembly on Wednesday, Abbas called on Israeli citizens to recognize Palestinian statehood to prove that a two-state solution can be reached.

Earlier this month, French foreign ministry special envoy to the Middle East Valerie Hoffenberg was summarily sacked – because, she claims, of her opposition to the expected Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood later this month.

“I don’t think this is a coincidence,” the envoy told Haaretz when asked about the timing of her sacking, which she was shocked to learn about from a Foreign Ministry announcement on Friday. A day earlier, during a visit to Israel, at a meeting with Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom, Hoffenberg said that while she did not know the official French position, she herself was “completely opposed to the unilateral declaration.”

Juppe also said Syria’s leaders must answer for crimes against humanity that are being committed in their crackdown on anti-government protests.

“Crimes against humanity are being committed in Syria and the leaders of the regime will have to answer for them,” Juppe said in remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

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