Don't let politics overshadow peace, Kouchner tells Israel

Other News Materials 5 October 2008 19:39 (UTC +04:00)

Internal political developments in Israel, should not overshadow the peace process with the Palestinians, visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Sunday, according to dpa.

"Don't forget the peace process," he urged in an interview with Israel Radio. "I know about all your concerns, internal political concerns ... but please, what is important for us, for you, for everybody, is the setting up of a Palestinian state."

The meeting comes as Foreign Mnister Tzipi Livni is in the midst of negotiations to form a new government in wake of the resignation, two weeks ago, of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Kouchner had earlier told the Ha'aretz daily in an interview published on Sunday morning that "the roots of all the pretexts in the area is the Palestinian struggle and the necessity of the Palestinian state.

"If there is a perception coming out of the Palestinian people that things are getting better and moving a bit - this is an additional asset to calm down this main danger which is Iran. To cut the reason and the roots of the Middle East anger," he continued.

Kouchner met with Palestinian leaders on Saturday and on Sunday held talks with Israeli officials. He was slated to meet Livni in the late afternoon.

In the interview with Ha'aretz, Kouchner said that he estimated Israel will likely bomb Iran before Tehran can develop nuclear weapons.

"I know that some people in Israel and in the army are preparing a military solution or not a solution but a military attack. I don't know. This is not, according to my opinion, the solution," he said.

Kouchner said that while "Iran with an atomic bomb is unacceptable", the way to prevent this eventuality was though "talking, talking, talking, and offering dialogue, sanctions, sanctions, sanctions. "

"Is the alternative to bomb first - I think not," he said.

"War is never a solution," he went on, " but sometimes I know it has been used, so let me be precise - we are not absolutely desperate - we have to start trying to get some allies, isolating [Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad, trying to help the people in favor of more modernity," he said.