French Ambassador to Cairo, Stéphane Romatet, with Egypt Today’s reporter Injy Magdy, Wednesday December 6, 2017 – Egypt Today/Engy Magdy
CAIRO – 7 December 2017: “The decision [to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital] will be disastrous for the peace process and will stir tension in the region,” French Ambassador in Cairo Stéphane Romatet stated to Egypt Today in an interview on Wednesday.
The French ambassador made clear France’s stance on the issue of Jerusalem during the interview.
“Our stand on this issue is clear; any decision regarding Jerusalem can never be single sided, and there is a UN resolution about this specific matter because the situation of Jerusalem cannot be settled except through negotiations,” Romatet stated.
When asked about the measures that France took and is expected to take in light of the decision U.S. President Donald Trump televised Wednesday, Romatet remarked that French President Emmanuel Macron had phoned his American counterpart and advised him against taking such a decision.
"It is the headquarters of many government ministries. For many years, visiting American diplomats met their Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem… It is now the heart of one of the most successful democracies in the world," U.S. President Donald Trump has stated during his speech Wednesday.
"Through all of these years, presidents representing the United States have refused to acknowledge Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Today, we acknowledge that Jerusalem is the Israeli capital. It is the right thing to do. It is something that has to be done," Trump continued.
Trump has asserted that this decision does not in any way represent a departure from efforts to establish a lasting peace in the region.
"The U.S. would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides," he affirmed, adding that the question of the Israeli borders, including in Jerusalem, are up the the parties concerned.
“I affirm my administration’s longstanding commitment to peace,” Trump said. He emphasized the controversial step will lead to "different or better results," and that it is a "necessary condition" to achieve peace.
Egypt and France: Terrorism and Investments
Concerning Egyptian-French relations, Romatet stated that “the Al-Rawdah mosque attack emphasized that terrorism clearly targets Egypt.”
“Egypt is the first step in battling terrorism, and we in France are clear that we will do everything we can to aid Egypt in this war against terrorism. France’s security begins with Egypt’s security,” the French ambassador stated.
Romatet explained that due to being targeted by terrorism, Egypt may suffer a drop in investments. “Egypt today is attractive because it represents a large market and that is why it is an attractive investment hub,” he elaborated.
“More and more French companies are interested in investing in Egypt even though the world thinks its falling into a dark pit,” Romatet stressed.