The story comes from The Jerusalem Post.
French President Hollande addresses Knesset, calls for two-state solution with Jerusalem as joint capital
French President François Hollande addressed the Knesset on Monday calling for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Jerusalem as a joint capital.
The French head of state and his entourage, which includes his partner, journalist Valérie Trierweiler, were received by Edelstein in an official ceremony in the Chagall Hall.
Ahead of Hollande's speech, Edelstein, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich took the stand.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Netanyahu called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to speak at the Knesset and recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state.
"We can't be expected to recognize a Palestinian state without the Palestinians recognizing Israel as the Jewish state," Netanyahu said.
"Lets end the freeze [in peace talks]," the prime minister added, offering to come to Ramallah to speak in front of the Palestinian people.
Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich welcomed the French President and thanked him for France's position on ensuring that Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons.
"In this house there is no argument between opposition and coalition that Iran can not have nuclear weapons," Yacimovich said.
"Nuclear arms in the hands of fundamentalists is a problem for the whole world", she added.
On the peace process with the Palestinians, Yacimovich repeated that she thinks there needs to be a two state solution to ensure the future of Israel as both a Jewish and democratic state. She added the Labor Party would serve as a political safety net for Netanyahu if an agreement with the Palestinians was reached.
On the peace process, Hollande called for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with Jerusalem as a joint capital of the two future states.
He repeated calls for more gestures from both Israel and the Palestinians.
While he said he understood how difficult it was for Israel to free Palestinian prisoners, he said there is a need to halt settlement construction, saying it does not help advance peace.
Hollande also stressed that Israel must allow the Palestinian economy to develop and grow.
He offered France's help to bring to the end of the conflict, and offered to ask Arab states, with whom Paris has good relations, to assist the peace process as well.
Hollande reiterated his vow not to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons to roaring applause from the Knesset.
"We have nothing against Iran or the Iranian people," Hollande clarified. "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."
He urged world powers to continue diplomacy with Tehran, but vowed not to allow sanctions ease until Iran gives up its military nuclear program.
Hollande’s visit comes three weeks after Edelstein declared him persona non grata in the Knesset, because the French president opted to speak to university students and not MKs.
At the time, a French Embassy representative said the president’s schedule was not yet finalized, and several days later, a Knesset speech was added to his agenda.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy addressed the Knesset in 2008 and former president of France Jacques Chirac gave a speech in the Knesset in 1987, when he was prime minister.
Then-president of France François Mitterand spoke in the Knesset in 1982.