RAMALLAH, Tuesday, October 30, 2018 (WAFA) - PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi stated that, ‘since the current American administration does not have a real vision for a just and genuine peace and with Israel willfully working to destroy the foundations for a two-state solution, it is imperative that there is an urgent intervention of a third-party like Europe, in particular France.’
This came during a meeting with Deputy Diplomatic Counselor at the French Presidency Aurélien Lechevallier at the PLO headquarters in Ramallah, where both parties discussed the latest political and regional developments and the current crisis as a result of Israel‘s serious escalations and egregious violations of international law.
Ashrawi expressed her appreciation to the French government for its continued and firm support of Palestine, as well as its recent financial contributions to UNRWA, according to a statement issued by Ashrawi’s office.
She highlighted the American government‘s collusion with Israel and the military occupation, in particular the recent prejudicial and unilateral moves adopted by the US administration, including relocating the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, defunding Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem and UNRWA, redefining the status of Palestinian refugees, refusing to refer to the 1967 borders and the two-state solution, refraining from addressing the illegality of settlements, its closure of the General Delegation of the PLO in Washington D.C., and more recently, shutting down the US Consulate General and replacing it with a "Palestinian Affairs Unit" inside the US Embassy in occupied Jerusalem.
Both parties explored ideas regarding next month‘s Paris Peace Forum, as well as the importance of the French government playing an active role in peacemaking.
In that context, Ashrawi said, " In order for any peace settlement to succeed, it must be based on a multilateral and engaged partnership cemented in international law and human rights that includes concrete and positive steps to counter the United States‘ and Israel‘s negative and dangerous moves, to end the military occupation and to ensure the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and a just solution to the refugee question. The Palestinian question as a whole is an emotive and focal issue that enjoys the support of Arab and other public opinions; hence, it must be resolved on the basis of justice and legality to ensure stability and security throughout the region and beyond."
The meeting reviewed current domestic realities and recent decisions adopted by the Palestinian Central Council, and Ashrawi stressed the need to activate, reinvent and revitalize the PLO and its institutions.
Both parties also affirmed the importance of enhancing mutual cooperation and coordination between Palestine and France, and in that view, Ashrawi appealed to the French government to recognize Palestine: "It is not enough to talk about the two-state solution; one must recognize both states and not just the occupier at the expense of the occupied. France can play a positive role by recognizing Palestine."
Lechevallier was accompanied by Palestine Desk Officer at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chloé Baudreux, French Consul General Pierre Cochard, and Political and Press Counselor at the French Consulate Olivia Eteneau.