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Middle east

Israel rejects Kouchner comments on recognising Palestinian state

Video by Kathryn STAPLEY

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-02-22

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Saturday said that a Palestinian state could be proclaimed and recognised internationally even before its final borders are agreed, an idea that was immediately rejected by Israel.

AFP - Israel on Sunday rejected the idea of foreign countries recognising a Palestinian state without a negotiated peace agreement, after France's foreign minister hinted at such a scenario.
   
"Imposing this kind of semblance of a partial solution from outside goes against the very idea of peace," a senior Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
   
"Granting recognition when the issues of the conflict have not been settled would add fuel to the fire. This would only push the Palestinians to be even more intransigent and thus make any compromise impossible," he added.
   
France's Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said over the weekend he could envision the recognition of a Palestinian state even before its borders are drawn up.
   
"The issue before us at the moment is the building of a reality: France is training Palestinian police, businesses are being created in the West Bank," Kouchner told France's Journal du Dimanche.
   
"It follows that one can envision the proclamation soon of a Palestinian state, and its immediate recognition by the international community, even before negotiating its borders," he said.
   
Kouchner's comments came ahead of a visit to Paris by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
   
Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, meanwhile, says he is intent on building institutions for a de-facto Palestinian state, which he aims to complete by 2011 regardless of whether peace talks have advanced with Israel.
   
Later on Sunday, Abbas is due to meet with Kouchner in the French capital and with President Nicolas Sarkozy the following day.
   
Abbas has agreed in principle to a US proposal that he hold indirect talks with Israel under Washington's mediation, but has requested a number of guarantees.
   
The Palestinians broke off peace talks after Israel launched a devastating assault on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in December 2008, and they insist on a halt to Jewish settlements construction in the West Bank.

Date created : 2010-02-21

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