European divide over Palestinian UN bid

By Jennifer Lipman, October 11, 2011
Alain Juppe

Alain Juppe

The French Foreign Minister has warned of a growing divide in Europe following the Palestinian Authority's unilateral bid for statehood.

Alain Juppe said that a lot of energy would be required to maintain unity among the 27 European Union member states.

The different countries have taken different stances on aspects of the Palestinian bid, with France urging for the Palestinians to be given observer status and Germany taking a more cautious approach.

"You see two tendencies appearing more and more," he said, speaking after a meeting of EU members.

His comments came as European foreign ministers urged Israel and the Palestinians to resume peace talks.

The EU foreign policy chief, Baroness Ashton, said the aim was for negotiations to resume within the coming weeks, in line with the Quartet's call for talks within four weeks.

"What I'm keen to do is get the process moving and see at what point it would be the right moment for people to actually sit in the room together and start to work out the detail," she said.

Last updated: 3:20pm, October 11 2011