Paris Conference: Switzerland committed to renewed prospects for a political solution in the Middle East

Press release, 13.01.2017

Bern, 13.01.2017 - Federal Councillor Didier Burkhalter, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), will take part on Sunday in the Paris Ministerial Conference on Peace in the Middle East. Organised by France, the conference will bring together some 70 states and international organisations with the aim of relaunching the peace process and maintaining the prospect of the two-state solution.     

The conference is part of France’s initiative to remobilise the international community around the objective of implementing the two-state solution  between Israel and Palestine. Switzerland shares this goal. In Paris, it will call on stakeholders to help rebuild prospects and real hope to end this conflict. It is Switzerland’s position that this requires encouraging Palestinian unity and promoting regional cooperation, which Switzerland is willing to actively support, as well as a renouncement by all parties of all incitements to violence. Economic measures to fight unemployment are also a prerequisite to relaunch the peace process.

Switzerland will also welcome the creation in Paris, as part of the French initiative, of a civil society forum composed of stakeholders from Israeli and Palestinian civil society. The forum will aim to stimulate dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian organisations, in particular to strengthen a culture of partnership and reconciliation.

Switzerland is working to promote a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians based on a negotiated two-state solution. In accordance with Security Council Resolution 2334 of 23 December 2016, Switzerland will not recognise a change to the 1967 borders, including with respect to Jerusalem, unless it is the result of a negotiated agreement between the parties.