Risk of 'explosion of violence' in Mideast: French FM

AFP , Monday 19 Sep 2011

Alain Juppe warns of violence if Palestine situation not resolved amid diplomatic efforts to stop Palestinians seeking UN recognition of their statehood at UN General Assembly

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe speaks during a news conference in Paris May 3, 2011.(Photo: Reuters)

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe on Monday warned of a potential "explosion of violence" if the Palestinian situation is not resolved, saying the status quo was "neither acceptable nor tenable."

"The re-launch of the peace process is needed," Juppe told an audience at a think-tank in New York, amid frantic diplomatic efforts to stop the Palestinians seeking UN recognition of their statehood.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas warned early Monday, as he arrived for the annual UN General Assembly, that he expects a "very difficult" situation after he seeks membership of the global body for a Palestinian state this week.

The move is strongly opposed by Israel and the United States, as world powers meet at the United Nations in an 11th-hour attempt to head off the membership bid and avoid a diplomatic showdown.

Speaking to reporters travelling with him, Abbas admitted he had been under international pressure over the Palestinian bid, which has also split the European Union.

Much of the international community, led by Washington and the EU, has been scrambling to draw up a peace talks proposal that would convince the Palestinians to either delay the bid or drop it altogether.

The proposals would potentially include a freeze on Jewish settlements and lay out clear parameters for negotiations.

On Sunday, officials from the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East - the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - held a meeting to discuss such a framework.


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