French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem led to “people dying” and did not advance peace.
At a joint press conference, Macron and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that in their 90-minute-long meeting, they discussed the conflict sand tension in the region and Iran’s growing influence in the region and the 2015 nuclear deal.
French President Emmanuel Macron said that France opposes Israel’s expansion of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory as he urged fresh Middle East peace talks. Stressing that international law should be “respected by all”, Macron said: “I am thinking here of (Israel’s) continued building” in occupied Palestinian territory.
Israelis and Palestinians should be able “to live side by side within secure and recognised borders with Jerusalem as the capital”, Macron said after his first official talks with Netanyahu.
“I hope everything will be done for negotiations to move forward,” he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron warned of the risk of an “escalation” in the Iranian nuclear standoff after Tehran announced plans to boost uranium enrichment capacity to pressure Europeans scrambling to save a landmark deal.
The French President called on “everyone to stabilise the situation and not give into this escalation which would lead to only one thing: conflict.”
While noting that Iran had stepped up the pressure with its latest announcement, Macron also pointed blame in the direction of US President Donald Trump for unilaterally pulling out of the hard-fought 2015 deal designed to stop Tehran getting a nuclear bomb.
Macron said France shared Israel’s concerns about Iran. He stressed the importance of the Iran deal but said it should be complemented with an agreement that would target Tehran’s ballistic-missile program and activities in the region. Macron added that the two leaders agreed to set up joint working groups to coordinate efforts.
Netanyahu, who has vigorously opposed the Iranian deal, said he had not attempted to convince Macron to abandon it. Instead he said he believed Europe would give up on its efforts to save it under pressure from the US, which has threatened sanctions against European countries which continue to do business in Iran.
“I did not ask President Macron to leave the deal. I think that economic realities are going to decide this matter, so it’s not what we focused on,” he said after talks between the two leaders.
Dispatch based on reports from Haertz, France 24, New York Times, and AFP.