President Peres meets with French foreign minister, says 'Israel's top political echelon in agreement over two-state solution.'
Kouchner to Peres: 'You are my role model for peace; I've learned from you important lessons in diplomacy'
Gilad Halpern Published: 04.14.10, 21:48 / Israel News
PARIS- President Shimon Peres on Wednesday met with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in France and discussed the promotion of the peace process with the Palestinians.
Peres said he was visiting the country in order to garner its support for the peace effort and noted that Israel's top political echelon was in agreement over the two-state solution.
Kouchner delved deep into the conflict over the construction in east Jerusalem, to which the president said, "We mustn't determine the results before negotiations have begun."
Peres asked the French foreign minister to think of the peace process as an American film and said tongue-in-cheek, "Even in Hollywood you don't reveal the happy ending before the end of the movie."
Peres added that during the past 40 years Israel has achieved peace with its neighbors and the conclusion was that there is no other way but to keep trying. The president emphasized that peace between Israel and the Palestinians will benefit the future generation among both sides.
The official meeting between Kouchner and Peres lasted over 40 minutes, and the two continued to speak in private for an additional 20 minutes. Kouchner commended Peres for his longtime activities and said, "You are my role model for peace. I have learned from you important lessons in diplomacy."
On Thursday afternoon, President Peres is slated to have lunch with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy at Elysee palace.
On Tuesday, Peres met with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and discussed the delivery of Scud missiles from Damascus to Hezbollah. Peres said "Syria is playing a double game – on the one hand it is talking peace, and on the other – it transfers missiles to Hezbollah in order to threaten Israel."
Fillon added that France is prepared to engage in large-scale economic projects in the area, and cooperate with the Syrians, Jordanians and Palestinians. "I have returned from Damascus and Amman and I can tell you that the gaps between the sides are not too big to resume the process and return to the negotiations table," he said.
Peres and Kouchner. Role model for peace Photo: Amos Ben Gershon -
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