France proposes roadmap for Mideast peace in one year

France proposes roadmap for Mideast peace in one year
# 21 September 2011 20:24 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday proposed a roadmap for peace in the Middle East in one year and asked the United Nations to admit Palestine as a non-member state, APA reports.

Sarkozy, in his speech at the general debate of the UN General Assembly, called upon the Israelis and Palestinians to take "one year to reach a definitive agreement" for peace in the Middle East.

The president said that after 60 years of failure to bring peace to the Middle East, it is time now to change tactics.

"Each of us knows that Palestine cannot immediately obtain full and complete recognition of the status of United Nations member state," Sarkozy said. "The first reason for this is the lack of trust between the main parties."

Direct talks between Israel and Palestine stalled in October 2010, when Israel declined to renew a moratorium on its settlement building.

The diplomatic Quartet for Middle East peace, consisting of the UN, the EU, the U.S., and Russia had set the deadline for negotiating a final settlement between Israel and Palestine for September 2011. Thus far, there has been no indication that direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine will resume.

The French president’s statement came just two days after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that he would present an application for Palestine to join the United Nations immediately after he addresses the general debate on Friday.

The United States, a close ally of Israel, is strongly opposed to the Palestinian bid and threatens to use its veto power at the UN Security Council to stunt the Palestinian request for statehood at the United Nations.

Last week, Ban told a press conference that he will pass the application to the Security Council if asked to do so by the Palestinians.

After that, the global peace and security body would examine it and come up with a resolution to recommend Palestinian statehood to the General Assembly.

If the statehood bid in the Security Council fails, Abbas and the Palestinians could bring their case straight to the General Assembly, where it has widespread support. In this scenario, though, the Palestinians would only be able to gain non-member observer statehood. This would be a step up from their current status of permanent observer, but would not allow them to cast votes at the UN.