Source: France-Diplomatie – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development
Published on July 26, 2021
1. Defence and Security – Joint Statement by the French and British Ministries for Foreign Affairs and for Defence (Paris, 26/07/2021)
High-level Franco-British bilateral consultations were held today in a “2+2” format of Foreign and Defence Ministers, within the unique framework set by the 2010 Lancaster House Treaty and based on our shared security and defence interests.
Following the French strategic review and the British Integrated Review, both conducted earlier this year, ministers identified the core areas of our cooperation for the coming years, taking into account the strategic context.
They discussed new security challenges, in particular in the cyber domain; our particular responsibilities in the Indo-Pacific region; and the continuation of the cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Africa and the Levant, where our forces are engaged side by side./.
2. Israel/Palestinian Territories – Reply by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to a written question in the Senate (Paris, 22/07/2021)
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the mainstay of the fight against impunity at international level. It plays an essential role within the multilateral system. France has therefore always fully supported it politically, logistically and in terms of judicial cooperation. France also voices its support in all the international forums and in our bilateral contacts. To this end, France systematically promotes the universalization of the Rome Statute and upholds the ICC’s central role in bringing perpetrators of the most serious crimes to justice and breaking the cycles of impunity.
France noted that the ICC Prosecutor officially opened an investigation on 3 March 2021 into the situation in the Palestinian Territories. Committed to the independence of justice, France does not comment on the Court’s judicial decisions and proceedings. The French authorities will continue to promote the ICC and avoid any politicization of the Court’s ongoing cases, so that it may be in a position to carry out its mission completely independently and impartially, in accordance with the Rome Statute./.
3. Israel/Palestinian Territories – Destruction of humanitarian aid – Reply by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to a written question in the Senate (Paris, 22/07/2021)
France has a clear and steadfast position on Israeli settlement activity. It is illegal under international law, in particular under United Nations Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 2334 of 23 December 2016, and under international humanitarian law. It helps inflame tensions on the ground and is an obstacle to a just peace based on the solution of two States each with Jerusalem as its capital.
In this context, France, alongside its European partners, is working to protect the Palestinian presence in the West Bank. This commitment is taking concrete shape on the ground: in 2020, of the 2.2 million euros specially allocated by France to humanitarian aid in the Palestinian Territories, 650,000 euros was granted to the humanitarian consortium acting to protect the Palestinian presence in Zone C of the West Bank.
Building on this commitment, France regularly plays an active role, alongside its European partners, in opposing demolitions and confiscations of humanitarian structures and equipment. This is the case with regard, inter alia, to the Bedouin village of Khirbet Humsa in the West Bank, dismantled in November 2020 and then in February 2021. Nationally and jointly with its European partners, France has spoken out against these demolitions and confiscations, which have targeted, among other things, humanitarian equipment funded by the European Union and France. The French Consulate General has taken part in several site visits organized with representatives of the European Union and of other Member States. Alongside our main European partners, we have also sent the Israeli authorities clear messages about their obligations as the occupying power under international humanitarian law. We intend to continue doing so to the new Israeli authorities.
The violent clashes which occurred in May demonstrated once again that resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of the two-State solution remains essential to establishing a lasting peace in the region. Without a genuine political process between the parties, which France is actively supporting, the same causes will produce the same effects and the cycles of violence will recur./.