French Consulate General, students explore solutions to Palestinian question

As part of its diplomatic lecture series, the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies at Birzeit University organized an open discussion on “Palestinian-French ties,” hosting the French Consul-General in Jerusalem, Pierre Cochard.

Moderated by professor of Philosophy and Cultural Studies Ghassan Al Khatib, the discussion was held with the Consul General, and a number of students majoring in International Studies, faculty and staff.

Mr. Cochard opened the session reaffirming the long-standing relationship between France and Palestine.

The Consul General shared France’s vision towards solving the Palestinian question.  A two-state solution, according to Cochard, is the only possible approach that would ensure the rights of Palestinians and their demand for recognition of sovereign state. He also discussed Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied territories of Palestine, and the prospects of building an independent Palestinian state within these changing dynamics. 

Cochard concluded the session stressing the need to support the reconciliation process between Fatah and Hamas.  

A number of questions followed the discussion.  The audience discussed the prospects for finding new alternatives to the two-state solution, and the role of the European Union’s assistance to Palestine, which aims to promote economic development and prosperity in Palestine.