Friday, October 09, 2020



France is a card-carrying member of the European Union.
 
As such, there are certain basic positions that France shares with the EU -- such as the "two-state solution."

In fact, one year ago, Josep Borrell, the incoming EU foreign policy chief, made the EU position clear:
The European position is to defend the two-state solution. I hope this continues to be the EU position.
France has been equally clear as well.

Just last month, on September 24, France participated in a meeting in Amman, Jordan:
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, France, Germany and Jordan, met in Amman today to continue their coordination and consultation on means to advance the Middle East Peace Process towards a just, comprehensive and lasting peace. The meeting was attended by the EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process.

The Ministers declared:

...We stress that the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state solution, that ensures the emergence of an independent and viable Palestinian state on the basis of June 4, 1967 lines, living side by side a secure and recognized Israel, is the path to achieving comprehensive, enduring peace and regional security.
What a difference two weeks make!

On Wednesday, the French ambassador to Israel, Eric Danon, indicated that in light of the Abraham Accords, France was open to peace possibilities other than the two-state solution:
The envoy indicated that France prefers a two-state solution, but that doesn’t mean they can’t accept something else, adding that his country will accept any solution agreed upon by the Palestinians and the Israelis.
Clearly, France is not ready to dump the two-state solution altogether.

Also, it is clear that France is still supportive of the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Arabs and the idea of their having their own sovereign state.

But by the same token, France also recognizes that Trump has changed the rules, and unlike during the Obama administration, the Palestinian Arabs are no longer in the driver's seat:
The Palestinians must take into account their weak position on the international and Arab arenas, stressed Danon...They warned that Palestinians could lose everything now.
A French diplomatic in Paris confirmed that what was once the personal opinion of Danon was now becoming official French foreign policy:
French diplomacy is having a hard time putting all its weight on the two-state solution, as it becomes unrealistic on the ground,” the diplomat pointed out. “What the ambassador said is self-evident. That it is important to resume negotiations as soon as possible. The Palestinians have never been so weak. They could lose everything.” [emphasis added]

Why is France now suddenly seeing the light?

 It might be because of Frances's diplomatic relations with the Gulf states

France, one of the five veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, has close ties with Gulf Arab states, in particular Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and rarely publicly criticizes internal political issues. [emphasis added]

And that includes Bahrain in addition to the UAE.

The UAE is also a major client for French weapons.

It would be in France's interests to support the UAE and Bahrain, not only in terms of the new agreements with Israel, but also to support the new potential for different options for peace.

So it is not just a matter of some countries wanting to ally themselves with Israel in order to get into Washington's good graces -- now there are advantages of allying with the Gulf states too. And if support for the Abraham Accords is the price to pay to reap the benefits of better relations and agreements with rich Arab states, it may not be just the smaller developing countries that see an opportunity.

Which is just one more way that Abbas's kleptocracy is left out in the cold.

Part of the goal of the Abraham Accords is to further weaken the PA.

Based on France's new stand -- that seems to be working.




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