Saturday, January 22nd | 20 Shevat 5782

January 22, 2020 10:34 am

Israel Irked by Macron-Abbas Meeting Ahead of Holocaust Forum

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French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo: Reuters / Benoit Tessier / Pool. – Israeli officials on Tuesday expressed displeasure over the decision by French President Emmanuel Macron, who is on a three-day visit to the country for the 5th World Holocaust Forum, to meet with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah during his stay.

“We didn’t think it was a great idea to visit Ramallah,” a Foreign Ministry official told Israel Hayom. “We told the French [delegation] we weren’t thrilled about it, but it was [Macron’s] decision.”

Macron was scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning, followed by a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin.

He is scheduled to meet with Abbas in Ramallah in the late afternoon hours.

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Netanyahu, meanwhile, will meet with US Vice President Mike Pence at the US Embassy in Jerusalem on Thursday. It will be an uncommon setting for such a meeting, as Netanyahu holds the vast majority of state visits at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, his official residence on Balfour Street in the capital or, on special occasions, at the King David Hotel.

After the embassy meeting, Pence and Netanyahu are expected to visit the Western Wall in the Old City.

The American vice president is slated to land in Israel on Thursday morning. He will meet with Rivlin, and will also deliver a speech on behalf of the United States at the Forum’s ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and memorial.

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