RAMALLAH, January 30, 2016 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Foreign Ministry Saturday welcomed the French efforts to convene an international peace conference and stated that it is time for Palestinian people to achieve their right to self-determination in their own state.
The Ministry said in a press release that it welcomed French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius’ initiative to “safeguard the two-state solution” and to promote peace in our region through efforts to hold an international peace conference in the upcoming few weeks.
France has announced plans to convene an international peace conference in order to break the Palestinian-Israeli deadlocked peace process and bring about the two-state solution.
The Ministry stated that the Palestinian people and leadership hold high “Fabius’ courageous words and his unwavering efforts to reach an end to this long and tragic conflict that has bewildered and plagued our region.”
“Our people have endured a great deal of suffering and watched their rights violated and their territory being encroached on by expanding Israeli settlements. It is time that our people achieve their right to self- determination in their own state that will live in peace and security with its neighbors,” it added.
The Ministry stated that they would engage “actively” and “sincerely” with the French partners and international community in order for the upcoming international peace conference to be successful and called Israel to “reciprocate and to engage actively so that we can achieve peace.”
On Friday, Fabius announced that his country would recognize a Palestinian state within weeks if the bid to break the deadlock fails.
“In the coming weeks, France will take… steps in order to organise an international conference gathering each of the parties’ principle partners — principally Americans, Europeans and Arabs — in order to preserve and to bring about the two-state solution,” Fabius was quoted by AFP as saying.
Fabius made it clear that if “the last-ditch attempt at reaching a negotiated solution hits a stumbling block” fails, his country would unilaterally recognize the Palestinian state.
“In that case, we will have to live up to our responsibilities and recognise a Palestinian state,” he said.
“We must not allow the two-state solution to fall apart,” AFP quoted and reported him as noting that there had been no halt to Israel’s settlement activity on land the Palestinians want for a future state.
The Ministry welcomed France’s intention to recognize the State of Palestine and called on other countries that have not yet recognized to follow suit.
“Time has come for our people to achieve their right to self -determination and to live freely in their own independent, viable and democratic state on the borders of 1967 with east Jerusalem as its capital,” it concluded.