Sarkozy urges Peres to halt Israeli settlements
Nicolas Sarkozy called on visiting Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres to ensure the security of Israel by halting Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories.
PARIS, March 11, 2008 - French President Nicolas Sarkozy called
Monday on visiting Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres to ensure the security of
Israel by halting Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories.
"As a friend, I say to you that the Israel's security depends on stopping
the settlements," Sarkozy said, according to his spokesman David Martinon, who
spoke following a meeting between the two leaders.
France joined the United States and other countries earlier Monday in
warning the Israelis after they unveiled plans for a new settlement in annexed
east Jerusalem that they could scupper the faltering peace process.
The project for 400 homes in the mainly Arab eastern part of Jerusalem was
announced by the city's authorities on the heels of plans to build hundreds of
new housing units in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank.
Sarkozy assured Peres that "the security of Israel is not in question and
that France will always be at Israel's side," Martinon said.
Sarkozy told the Israeli leader he was convinced that "the best guarantee
for Israel's security is the creation of a modern Palestinian state,
democratic and viable before the end of 2008. The parameters of a final
solution are known, what is needed is the will to do it," Martinon said.
The Palestinians themselves have said Israel's settlement activity would
shatter efforts to relaunch the peace process that has been largely stagnant
since it was revived at a US-hosted conference in late November.