France plans to start discussions with partners in the “coming weeks” on a United Nations Security Council resolution to lay out parameters for ending the Middle East conflict, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Friday.
“I hope that the partners who were reluctant will not be reluctant anymore,” said Fabius, referring to the United States, which has traditionally shielded Israel from hostile action at the U.N.
The United States has said it would “reassess” its options on U.S.-Israel relations and Middle East diplomacy after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took a stand against Palestinian statehood during his election campaign.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the Obama administration was aware of Mr. Fabius’ comments. “But we have not yet actually seen a text of a resolution so I’d reserve comment on a hypothetical resolution,” he said.
The Washington Post noted that “while he didn’t indicate whether the U.S. would actively favor such a resolution, the absence of any dissuasion was telling. White House officials didn’t elaborate on the Obama administration’s position.” The ambiguity of the American position was interpreted by the Post as “new pressure against Israel by leaving open the possibility of letting the United Nations set a deadline for a Palestinian state.”
“We have said that these parameters have to be defined and recognized by the Security Council and that obviously the two parties have to discuss, but the discussion will be accompanied by an international effort,” Fabius told reporters at the United Nations in New York.