PARIS (AFP) - France has proposed a resolution with the UN Security Council, in coordination with Egypt and Jordan, calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Gaza conflict, the president's office said late Tuesday (May 18).
French President Emmanuel Macron and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is in Paris for summits on Africa, agreed on the resolution in a video conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II, the statement said.
"The three countries agreed on three simple elements: The shooting must stop, the time has come for a ceasefire and the UN Security Council must take up the issue," the Elysee Palace said.
France, which has been calling for a rapid ceasefire for several days, said it supports mediation led by Egypt.
Macron had on Monday underlined the importance of Egyptian mediation after talks in Paris with Sisi, a key ally and defence client of France despite activists' concerns over Cairo's rights record.
The UN Security Council has failed to adopt a simple declaration on the conflict, with the United States, a staunch Israel ally, having rejected three prior statement drafts proposed by China, Norway and Tunisia which called for an end to the fighting.
China's UN ambassador Zhang Jun said that during a closed-door meeting, members "heard the proposal made by our French colleague in the Council and for China, definitely, we are supportive to all effort facilitating the ending of the crisis and the coming back of peace in the Middle East."
On Tuesday evening, several member countries of the Security Council told AFP they had not yet received the French text, which one diplomatic source said would be "short and simple".
In addition to a call for a "cessation of hostilities", it would ask for "humanitarian access for the people in need", one diplomat said on condition of anonymity.