France will not ‘automatically’ recognise Palestine if peace plan fails

Cairo, March 10 (IANS/EFE) French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Wednesday that his country will not “automatically” recognise the state of Palestine if Paris’ initiative to host an international summit to revive the peace process with Israel, fails.

“There is never anything automatic,” Ayrault said at a joint press conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukri in Cairo, adding that “France will present its initiative to its partners. It will be the first step, there is no pre-requisite.”

“What we want, and that is our commitment, is to resume the negotiation process,” the French minister noted, indicating that Paris will do its best to provide a favorable climate to revive the Palestine-Israel peace talks.

“France wants to re-launch the peace initiative in the Middle East with the aim of hosting an international conference by this summer… if conditions are met,” Ayrault explained.

Shoukri supported France’s initiative, which “guarantees the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people,” noting that the “two-state solution is the way to end this crisis.”

The Egyptian minister also added that Egypt and France agreed on the need to fight terrorism in Libya, whose instability threatens Egyptian borders.

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