France sets 18-month deadline for peace deal or Palestinian state recognition

The flag of France. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius says that France will officially recognize Palestinian statehood after an 18-month deadline if no agreement between Israel and the Palestinians is reached through an upcoming French-backed United Nations Security Council resolution.

According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, the French resolution calls for two states with borders in line with the pre-1967 lines as well as mutually agreed and equal land swaps. The plan also places Israeli security concerns at the center of peace talks, saying that it “guarantees the security of both Israel and the Palestinians, with effective oversight over borders, and prevents the reappearance of terror and the smuggling of munitions.”

The French plan calls for a “just” resolution to the Palestinian refugee situation and for Jerusalem to be the capital of both states. It also takes into consideration Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, saying a peace agreement should include “the principle of two states for two nations.”

France is seeking to submit the plan to the U.N. Security Council for a vote sometime after June 30, when negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program are scheduled to be finalized. According to reports, the timeline for the plan was shortened from two years to 18 months due to hopes of seeing the plan make progress before French President Francois Hollande leaves office in 2017.

Late last year, the French Senate and Chamber of Deputies—like a number of other European legislatures—both passed a non-binding resolution calling on the country’s government to recognize Palestinian statehood. But so far in Europe, only the Swedish government has officially recognized a Palestinian state.

Posted on May 21, 2015 .