Introduction by Professor Safwan Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development, Columbia University
President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. embassy there has sparked a wave a condemnation at the international level and increased tensions in the region. It has also raised questions about the credibility of the United States as an “ honest broker” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and about the best approach to revive in this context a peace process more needed than ever.
In his talk, Ambassador Bertolotti will address these latest developments on Jerusalem and the French approach to the Middle East Peace Process. He will also give an overview of the French diplomacy in the region as President Macron, since his election in May, has shown his readiness to play an active role in favor of peace and stability in the Middle East in coordination with key partners, among them Jordan.
David Bertolotti was appointed ambassador of France to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan by Presidential Decree in 2015. Previously, he served as the Office Director for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation at the Directorate for Strategic Affairs, Security and Disarmament at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In this capacity, he was also the lead French expert and head of the team of diplomats and engineers assisting the political director and chief French negotiator for the Iran nuclear talks. In 2010, Ambassador Bertolotti was Second Counselor, Director of the French Institute in the United Arab Emirates, at the French Embassy in Abu Dhabi until 2012.
From 2007 to 2010, he was Deputy Director of the Secretary General’s Private Office at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), where he was responsible for the organization of NATO’s 60th anniversary and the Strasburg-Kehl summit, as well as for the process of France’s reintegration in the organization’s military structure. Ambassador Bertolotti was also in charge of relations with the Mediterranean Dialogue countries, among them Jordan, and was desk officer at the office for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation.