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French Efforts to Determine Whether Settlement Enterprise Project Returns to Security Council - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Ramallah- Palestinian sources confirmed Asharq Al-Awsat that the Palestinian leadership decided to wait for the outcomes of French efforts to assemble an international peace conference before heading to the Security Council to submit anti-settlement project.

According to the sources, countries supporting Palestine, including France, which is organizing an international peace conference for the country, asked the Palestinian President to wait and halt any act that might stand in the way of their efforts.

The matter is to be discussed on the table of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and precisely in the meeting that will be headed by Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestinian President describes the current French efforts as a reasonable substitute for the political track prior to the bilateral negotiations.

Abbas has announced several times that he agrees on convening an international conference on the political process and forming an international support group to auspice political talks with Israel.

He also asserted the willingness of the Palestinian party to fully cooperate with France regarding this matter according to the Arab peace initiative, international legislative resolutions and specified timetable to end this occupation.

However, this Palestinian acceptance is faced with Israeli rejection for the French ideas based on Tel Aviv’s perspective that calls for direct bilateral talks without prior conditions between the two parties, considering this as the best solution.

Israel currently rejects any international auspices for the talks that are accepted by Palestine and organized by France.

The Palestinian source added that the president does not want to be the one who fails French attempts at a time when Palestinians want these talks and Israel rejects them.

In a common matter, the Palestinian authority was planning to submit a proposal draft for the Security Council against Israeli settlement last week, yet it was asked to postpone this proposal by almost everyone. Although it said it needed more time for consultations, not all Palestinian parties agreed on this adjournment.

Therefore, Palestinian officials, including members from the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas movement, attacked this delay saying that there is no justification behind it.

Member of the Executive Council of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Wasel Abu Youssef, told Asharq Al-Awsat, “We had no idea that the proposal was postponed and the reason behind postponing its submission is unjustified as there is nothing in common between the Security Council and the Palestinian efforts.”

Abu Youssef confirmed that the Palestinians support France’s efforts as they represent a substitute for bilateral talks and end the US dominance, which only “gives more reasons for Israel to occupy our country and impose new projects on our lands such as building and expanding their settlement, thus preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state.

He added, “We believe that any international conference should be supported by international will by imposing the P5+1 in order to reach an appropriate solution.

“Any political movement should be based on international legislative resolutions.”

For his part, Palestinian Ambassador to France Salman al-Harfi, said a preparatory meeting for the international peace conference will be held in few days. He also said that high-profile diplomats will meet in Paris to set an agenda for the conference, which will be held in May.

According to the ambassador, the meeting will be convened with the presence of 20 Arab and Foreign countries, including India, Japan, South Africa, permanent members of the Security Council, Quartet Committee and the Arab Quartet; excluding Palestine and Israel.

He also said that the initiative’s articles are being discussed among the countries, in addition to the two conflict parties, and the headlines are all agreed on to maintain the separation of the two states.

Members of the ministerial meetings are expected to specify a date for the anticipated international conference next summer.