France unlikely to back EU plan to split Jerusalem

By Jessica Elgot, December 3, 2009
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France is unlikely to back Sweden in its drive to push east Jerusalem as the future Palestinian capital.

French ambassador Christophe Bigot told the Jerusalem Post that the proposal was unlikely to be approved by the 27 EU member states in its present form.

EU foreign ministers, including British Foreign Secretary David Miliband will meet on December 7 in Brussels to discuss the proposal.

It states: “The goal is an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable state of Palestine, comprising the West Bank and Gaza and with East Jerusalem as its capital. If there is to be a genuine peace, a way must be found to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the capital of two states.”

Mr Bigot said: “This text is not an EU text, it is a Swedish proposal looking for agreement by the 27 EU members of the Council of Foreign Affairs next Tuesday.

"I'm pretty sure that the text that will be agreed by next Tuesday will be different from the text proposed by Sweden last Friday."

Mr Bigot also said several other EU states had expressed reservations about the Swedish proposal.

He added: "If there is any agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and if they are interested and willing, the EU has said repeatedly we are willing to provide security guarantees in the West Bank - that would help both the Israelis and the Palestinians.

"How it will work depends on the agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, and what they are looking for.

Last updated: 5:00pm, December 3 2009