France Warns PA: Don't Escalate the Crisis

France warns the PA against resubmitting its unilateral resolution to the UN.

Elad Benari,

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius
Reuters

France warned the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Tuesday against escalating a diplomatic battle with Israel after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said he would resubmit to the UN Security Council a resolution calling for the creation of a Palestinian state, Reuters reports.

Abbas said on Sunday he hoped to resubmit the resolution, which was defeated last week at the Security Council, "perhaps after a week", hoping the new pro-PA members of the Council would help it pass.

France, one of the Council's five permanent members, backed the resolution despite some reservations, but on Tuesday signaled concern that Abbas' diplomatic offensive -- he has also signed up to 20 international conventions including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court -- could harm chances for peace by antagonizing Israel.

"We are against the logic of letting this spiral (out of control)," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters, according to Reuters.

"While we think the Palestinians have the right to move the status quo, at the same time there has to be an effort to find a consensus solution. Once you set this cycle off, you get results that you don't want one way or another."

Abbas hopes that new countries which joined the UN Security Council on January 1 will be more sympathetic to the Palestinian resolution, which demands an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and independence by late 2017.

France had been working prior to the December 30 vote on a separate resolution with Britain and Germany that aimed to set the parameters and a time frame for new peace talks.

"We worked on this resolution believing we could achieve a consensus but it wasn't possible," said Fabius, who questioned the wisdom of resubmitting the resolution, adding he would discuss the issue in coming days with Jordan, Egypt and other regional players.




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