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France ‘not planning’ Israeli-Palestinian UN resolution

France ‘not planning’ Israeli-Palestinian UN resolution
Jerusalem: France is not secretly planning a UN Security Council resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after a major conference in Paris this month, the president of the French Senate said Thursday.

Gerard Larcher said he was not aware of any country working on a resolution to put before the Council between the January 15 meeting and the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president on January 20.

Speaking to the press in Jerusalem at the end of a four-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, Larcher said that many Israeli interlocutors had expressed fear France would try to translate the outcome of the conference into a UN resolution.

The French-organised talks, to be attended by around 70 countries — but not by Israeli or Palestinian representatives — are being held to reiterate international support for a two-state solution to the conflict.

“There is no secret proposal for a resolution prepared by France at the UN after the Paris conference to date,” Larcher said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has consistently spoken out against the French initiative since its announcement early last year, insisting that anything but direct talks between the sides will make peace more distant.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu told Israeli diplomats that the French conference would be “futile,” warning however that “there are signs that there will be attempts to use decisions that are taken to vote on a new UN resolution against Israel.”

The Palestinians support the French initiative.

On December 23, the UN Security Council for the first time since 1979 condemned Israeli settlement of occupied Palestinian territory. The United States did not use its veto and abstained in the vote.

Netanyahu rejected the resolution at the time as a “shameful blow against Israel” and claimed that outgoing US President Barack Obama was behind it.

AFP