France presses US for Palestinian state without delay

17th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 17 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier on Wednesday urged the United States not to delay in pushing for a Palestinian state which should be established "as soon as possible."

PARIS, Nov 17 (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier on Wednesday urged the United States not to delay in pushing for a Palestinian state which should be established "as soon as possible."

"I have heard President (George W.) Bush say that it could come before the end of his mandate. I think we must not wait till 2009. After all the 'roadmap' foresees a Palestinian state by June 2005," Barnier said in an interview with Le Figaro newspaper.

"The sooner (a state is set up) the better. We should envisage - as the roadmap foresees - a state within provisional borders," he said.

Barnier said after the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat that the 25 nations of the EU were "unanimous" in their analysis of the crisis and the way to get out of it.

"Application of the roadmap, creation of a Palestinian state guaranteeing Israel's security, support plan for the withdrawal from Gaza in all its aspects - political, economic and security - and of course an end to violence."

The roadmap was drawn up in 2003 by the US, the UN, the EU and Russia - with Israeli and Palestinian consultation - and sets out a step-by-step process ending in a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Barnier said France and the EU were ready to offer the Palestinain authorities help in holding three sets of elections in coming months - presidential, municipal and parliamentary - and urged Israel to allow voters in east Jerusalem to take part.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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