France 'pleased' at UN call to dismantleWest Bank barrier

21st July 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 21 (AFP) - France on Wednesday expressed satisfaction at the passage of a UN General Assembly resolution calling on Israel to tear down part of its West Bank barrier, hailing in particular the EU's common approval.

PARIS, July 21 (AFP) - France on Wednesday expressed satisfaction at the passage of a UN General Assembly resolution calling on Israel to tear down part of its West Bank barrier, hailing in particular the EU's common approval.  

"We are pleased with the adoption of this resolution, which illustrates the effectiveness of the negotiations process among the Europeans," foreign ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous told reporters.  

The talks "allowed for the text to be amended in a way that reflected the Europeans' wishes," the spokesman noted.  

He said France deemed it "necessary that the text underline the need for both the Palestinians and the Israelis to respect international humanitarian law, and reaffirm the international community's condemnation of terrorism."  

The UN General Assembly on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted through the resolution demanding that Israel obey a ruling of the UN's International Court of Justice, which calls on the Jewish state to tear down part of the barrier.  

The UN resolution is largely symbolic, as it is not binding, but it represents a diplomatic victory for the Palestinians, who got the European Union to unite behind the measure.  

Israel says the uncompleted 425-mile (700-kilometer) barrier of concrete and barbed wire has cut Palestinian terror attacks by 90 percent, and has rejected accusations that sections built on West Bank territory amount to a land grab.  

Israel has vowed to go ahead with building the barrier and slammed the European Union for backing the resolution, calling into question its future role in the Middle East peace process.  

"France behaved in a particularly disgraceful fashion by acting for its Palestinian friends and convincing the other European countries to adopt this resolution," Israel's ambassador to the UN Dan Gillerman told public radio.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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