French position on Syria-Lebanon-Israel situation
Lebanon-Syria-France, Politics, 4/23/1998
Assistant spokeswoman for the French Foreign Ministry stressed in a statement to the Lebanese daily al-Nahar today that what is characterized as the strategic relations between Paris and Damascus is but their mutual commitment to the principle of "trading land for peace, which is eventually applicable on south Lebanon and the Golan Heights."
Replying to a question on the nature of the call made by French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine for the Lebanese "not to neglect Israel's acceptance of UN resolution 425," the French assistant spokeswoman added: "The foreign minister was clear in making a distinction between the hidden part of the iceberg and the visible part."
Vedrine noted that Israel's recognition of 425 is a step forward after 20 years of Israeli rejection, but he doubted whether such an Israeli offer would really help achieve genuine solutions accepted by all sides concerned, al-Nahar reported.
The assistant spokeswoman continued, "Thus we have to look beyond the hidden conditions of 425 as advocated by Israel because UN resolutions 425 and 426 have no preconditions."
"Therefore, Vedrine said we do not have to neglect what seems to be sincere in the Israeli statements. And if the Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai speaks of difficulties facing the Israeli army, this does not justify a fragile and immature solution," she said.
The assistant spokeswoman quoted Vedrine as saying in conclusion of deliberations of the Mediterranean states Forum in Palma De Majorca: "We benefit from every possible chance to reach a genuine solution that complies with the legitimate interests of the Israelis, the Lebanese and the Syrians."
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