On Jan. 29, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced that France would try to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The negotiations are expected to take place as early as April, and will involve Israel, the Palestinian Authority and their “main partners” in the United States, Europe and the Arab world.
In the weeks since the announcement, Fabius has left office, but France is forging ahead with its plan. The French government submitted details of its peace proposal to UN Security Council members this month, according to a recent report in The Jerusalem Post. That report also said that the French envoy to Tel Aviv had recently presented the Israeli Foreign Ministry with details of France’s plan to convene a peace conference in Paris this summer.
France is obviously not the first Western power to think it can bring peace to one of the longest-running conflicts on the planet. But here are nine reasons why this latest peacebuilding effort matters.