France's Sarkozy backs Palestine State but after 'setting borders'

French President Sarkozy backed the creation of a "viable" Palestinian state.

France's Sarkozy backs Palestine State but after 'setting borders'

French President Nicolas Sarkozy backed the creation of a "viable" Palestinian state on Monday but was cautious about repeating his foreign minister's support for recognition of a state before its borders were set.

The Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership said last year it would seek U.N. Security Council backing for a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, referring to the West Bank and Gaza Strip borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 Middle East war.

Speaking at a news conference in Paris with visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Sarkozy repeated France's support for statehood for Palestine but added: "We have always said a viable Palestinian state."

"What we want when we argue for a Palestinian state is a real state, which can give hope and a future for millions of Palestinians. It's not just an idea," he told reporters.

In a newspaper interview at the weekend, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that to break a stalemate in Middle East peacemaking, some countries might recognise a Palestinian state before its borders were fixed.

"One can imagine a Palestinian state being rapidly declared and immediately recognised by the international community, even before negotiating its borders. I would be tempted by that," he told the Journal du Dimanche.

Sarkozy said that Kouchner was thinking of possible ways to bring momentum to the peace process but that France's goal remained a functioning Palestinian state in clearly set borders.

"In Bernard's comments, there was the thought that if we don't manage that, then when the time comes, in accord with our Palestinian friends, we might underline the idea of this state politically, to lift it up a notch in a way," he said.

The EU and the United States recognised the independence of Kosovo without the support of a Security Council resolution. Palestinian leaders now believe "geopolitical conditions are ripe" to follow that path, Diker said.

Reuters

Last Mod: 22 Şubat 2010, 18:54
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