On Thursday, October 10, 2017, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies hosted an open discussion between the French Consul-General in Jerusalem, Mr.Pierre Cochard, and a number of graduate students majoring in International Studies and faculty staff at Birzeit University. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Ghassan Al-Khatib and comes as part of a series of diplomatic lectures held at by the institute .
Mr. Cochard opened the session with positive remarks towards Palestinian youth, emphasizing the importance of the role they play in deciding their own future. In his statement, Mr. Cochard affirmed the strength of the French-Palestinian relations, and provided France’s vision towards a comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A lasting two-state solution, Mr. Cochard argued, is the only possible approach that would ensure the rights of the Palestinians and meets their statehood demands. He also expressed France's concerns towards many key issues, including the expansion of Israeli settlement in the West Bank and the on-the-ground changes in the city of Jerusalem .
Finally, Mr. Cochardon stressed on the need to support the reconciliation process among Palestinian political parties, and said that France is welcoming the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to control and maintain security in the Gaza strip.