Macron calls for new Israel-Palestine talks during Netanyahu's visit

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron at a press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron at a press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin

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.

French President Emmanuel Macron told Israel's visiting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday that Paris opposes Israel's expansion of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory as he urged fresh Middle East peace talks. French responsibility for the deportations of Jews during WWII, however, was recognized by former French President Jacques Chirac in 1995.

Over 13,000 Jews were rounded up by French police on July 16 and 17, 1942 in Paris and transported to Auschwitz. They were among some 76,000 Jews deported from France to Nazi camps. Many deaths were not registered because on arrival at Birkenau, groups were sent directly from their trains to nearby gas chambers. He said "not a single German" was directly involved, but instead blamed French police collaborating with the occupying Nazis.

Macron said that "everything should be done so that negotiations restart" with the aim of reaching a two-state solution, as the global community has long sought.

Macron insisted that "it was indeed France that organised this".

"Your struggle against militants Islam is our struggle", he said.

With Jerusalem anxious over Iran's efforts to establish a permanent presence in Syria, Netanyahu said he was opposed to the agreement reached earlier this month between Russian Federation and the United States regarding a cease-fire in Syria because, while it removes Iranian forces 20 kilometers from Israel's border, it perpetuates Iran's military presence in the country.

In his remarks, the French president also voiced concern over new Israeli settlement construction. We have known in Israel a lot of heroism, as have you here in France.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Paris on Saturday night along with his wife Sara. They do not hate the West because of Israel, but they hate Israel because of the West.

He stressed also that he would never concede to "anti-Zionism" because it represents the new form of anti-Semitism. "They wish to destroy anyone that stands in their way - Jews, Christians, Muslims, who suffer the brunt of their savagery".

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