Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the standoff between France and the United States at the UN


After eight days of blocking the Washington Security Council to the adoption of a declaration condemning the violence in the Middle East, Paris drew up a draft resolution on Tuesday.

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This is the first open crisis between the two allies since the coming to power of Joe Biden. France and the United States have launched a standoff at the UN over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After eight days of blocking in the Washington Security Council the adoption of a declaration condemning the violence in the Middle East, France, with the assistance of Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia, drew on Tuesday, May 18 a draft resolution calling for a “cessation of hostilities” and to “humanitarian access” especially in Gaza.

Without proposing a voting date. Bluff? Increased pressure on the United States to harden its position with regard to Israel? The US president called for immediate de-escalation on Wednesday. But the dry response to France was not long in coming, with an outright veto threat.

“We have been clear and consistent that we are focusing on ongoing intensive diplomatic efforts to end the violence and that we will not support actions that we believe undermine efforts towards de-escalation.”, a spokeswoman for the US mission to the UN told AFP.

“The American position will be quite decisive (…) It is true that the United States has been seen to be a little behind all this”, declared in Paris the head of French diplomacy, Jean-Yves Le Drian, during a hearing at the National Assembly. “The extension of the actions serves no one. It is absolutely necessary to avoid an Israeli ground offensive which would open a truly uncontrollable phase”, he added, stressing that “the first action to take is the cessation of hostilities as quickly as possible”.

The policy of Washington, Israel’s first ally, for ten days at the UN has not changed despite its growing isolation. The United States rejected three proposed statements presented by China, Tunisia (representing the Arab world on the Council) and Norway. And they also balked at the organization of Council meetings, four since May 10, even causing the postponement of one of them finally held on Sunday and in public.



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