France’s Macron calls for new Mideast peace talks based on two-state solution
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French President Emmanuel Macron appealed Sunday for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks based on a two-state solution as he hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris.
“I call for a resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians in the framework of the search for a solution of two states, Israel and Palestine, living in recognised, secure borders with Jerusalem as the capital,” Macron told reporters.
Macron warned, however, that continued Jewish settlement construction could threaten such negotiations and eventual peace prospects.
“This has been the constant line of French diplomacy and I’m very attached to this. In this regard, France is prepared to support all diplomatic efforts on the basis of the peace parameters recognised by the international community.”
“We share the same desire for a peaceful Middle East,” Netanyahu said, without elaborating on future peace talks.
Macron condemned an attack last week that killed two Israeli police officers at a Jerusalem shrine revered by both Jews and Muslims. Macron’s office said he is concerned about Israel’s security but also worried that Netanyahu is backing away from commitment to a two-state solution.
Macron said France was ready to apply diplomatic pressure for renewed talks but did not indicate that France would spearhead any new negotiations, after earlier French peace efforts proved fruitless.
Extremism, anti-Semitism and the Iran nuclear deal
The two leaders also discussed fighting extremism in Syria and elsewhere and improving bilateral economic cooperation.
Macron also reassured Netanyahu of France’s "vigilance" regarding the 2015 nuclear accord reached by Western powers with Iran.
"I assured him of our vigilance, in particular over the strict implementation of the accord ... in all its provisions," Macron said.
The French leader also pledged to continue to fight anti-Semitism and called for a thorough investigation into the recent killing of a Parisian woman believed to have been linked to anti-Jewish sentiment.
“Recently we have witnessed a rise of extremist forces that seek to destroy not only the Jews but of course the Jewish state as well [and] well beyond that," Netanyahu said. "...Your struggle is our struggle. The zealots of militant Islam, who seek to destroy you, seek to destroy us as well. We must stand against them together.”
Pro-Palestinian and other activists protested Netanyahu’s appearance, criticising Jewish settlement policy and the blockade of Gaza.
(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)