Paris, 26 Rajab 1436/15 May 2015 (MINA) – Israel’s Haaretz newspaper revealed on Thursday that strategic talks between Israel and France last week have turned into an argument over French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius’ initiative to advance a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian issue at the United Nations Security Council.
According to the newspaper, Israeli officials accused Paris of operating behind their back by holding consultations with the Palestinians and other Arab leaders in Paris and New York, as well as with UN Security Council members, but that the country was reluctant to conduct any consultations with the Israelis, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
The director general of the Israeli foreign ministry is reported to have criticised the French saying, “You are conducting consultations with every country of the world, except us and it seems that you have forgotten that we are a party in the subject and you need to consult us as well.”
French diplomats denied the Israeli allegations, saying that “things are still in their infancy and when anything comes up we will present it to you [the Israelis].”
Israeli officials have also accused France of pretending not to see the situation in Yemen, while it describes what happened in Gaza as a war crime.
“France has always led anti-Israel initiatives by labelling settlements products or with the preparation of a long list of sanctions against Israel,” Israeli diplomats said.
A French diplomat involved in the talks said the heated dispute reflects the status of relations between the two countries, and the Europeans frustration over the stalled peace process.
“We are in a difficult stage of relations, there is no agreement on the Palestinian issue and there is growing frustration in Europe and this is what we tried to tell the Israelis,” he is reported to have said.
The newspaper pointed out that strategic talks between Israel and France, which take place annually, are meant to symbolise close coordination between the two countries.
The paper added that last week’s dispute was out of the ordinary and was apparent from the beginning that it was difficult for both teams to narrow down differences between them particularly with regards to the Palestinian subject. (T/P002/R04)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)