France calls for end to Israeli settlements

President Hollande, meeting PA leader Abbas in Ramallah, demands "full and complete halt" to settlement activity.

    French President Francois Hollande has called for a complete halt to Israel's illegal settlement activities on land the Palestinians want for a future state.

    Speaking on his first official visit to the Palestinian territories on Monday, the French leader said that settlement construction was problematic for the negotiations, which have been limping along for more than three months with little sign of progress.

    "France demands a full and complete halt to settlement activity," he said oat a joint news conference in Ramallah with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas.

    "Settlement activity complicates the negotiations and makes it difficult to achieve a two-state solution," Hollande said.

    Since Israeli and Palestinian negotiators returned to the table at the end of July, Israel has made several announcements of thousands of new settler homes, angering the Palestinian negotiators.

    But Abbas on Sunday told AFP news agency that talks with Israel would continue for the full nine months agreed with Washington "regardless of what happens on the ground".

    In talks with the Israeli leadership on Sunday, Hollande said France expected the government to make "gestures" with respect to settlement construction, although he did not indicate exactly what that might involve.

    "If you want peace, you need to have gestures towards peace," he said.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Life after death row: The pastor praying for Nigeria's prisoners

    The Nigerian pastor adapting to life after death row

    Clinton Kanu spent 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, but life on the outside feels far from free.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.