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French President Francois Hollande: Jerusalem must be capital of two states

- The Washington Times - Monday, November 18, 2013

French President Francois Hollande addressed the Israeli parliament on Monday, calling for Jerusalem to be shared as capital of both Israel and Palestine.

"France's position is known: a negotiated settlement, with the state of Israel and [the state] of Palestine both having Jerusalem as capital, coexisting in peace and security," he said, according to Agence France-Presse.

Mr. Hollande urged Israel to halt settlement construction and to allow the Palestinian economy to develop and grow. He offered France's help in bringing an end to the conflict, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The French president reiterated his vow not to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.

"We have nothing against Iran or the Iranian people," he said. "The Iranian people deserve civil nuclear energy, but we will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons because that poses a threat to Israel and regional countries, but also to the world."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had taken the stand earlier, calling on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to speak at the Knesset and recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, the Post reported.

"We can't be expected to recognize a Palestinian state without the Palestinians recognizing Israel as the Jewish state," Mr. Netanyahu said.

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