World Jewish News
French President Macron to visit Israel next spring 'to continue efforts to find a two-state solution'
30.08.2017, Israel and the World
French President Emmanuel Macron plans to visit Israel next spring in order to promote the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, according to press reports.
"We will continue our efforts with the United Nations to find a two-state solution, Israel and Palestine, living safely side-by-side within borders recognised by the international community, with Jerusalem at the capital of both states," Macron told an annual gathering of French ambassadors in Paris.
The trip to Israel will be part of a Middle East tour, which will include stops in Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority. will help facilitate the end of the conflict.
Macron said on Tuesday that ensuring national security would be at the heart of France's diplomatic activity and he set eradicating "Islamist terrorism" as his core foreign policy goal.
"The fight against Islamist terrorism is the priority of France's foreign policy. France's security is the main purpose of our diplomacy," the French president said.
Macron met with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month in Paris during a commemorative ceremony of the so-called “rafle du Vel d’Hiv,” the Nazi-ordered roundup by French police in the Velodrome d’Hiver cycling stadium of 13,000 Jews, who were then deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in July 1942. Macron vowed to fight anti-Semitism in all its forms and declared that anti-Zionism ''is a reinvention of anti-Semitism.”
Later, during a meeting at the Elysee palace, the French president reiterated that he would support any initiative seeking the resumption of negotiations of the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has been frozen for three years.
He confirmed France’s long-held policy that favors a two-state solution with Jerusalem as the capital for the Palestinian state. Netanyahu then invited Macron to visit Israel.
Netanyahu, who is looking to turn a new page with France after resisting attempts led last year by Macron’s predecessor Francois Hollande to restart the peace process via an international conference, said Israel and France shared a desire to see “a stable and peaceful Middle-East.”