Israel’s Netanyahu Rebuts Request From France’s Macron to Nix West Bank Annexation Plans
In a telephone call on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to nix plans to annex parts of the West Bank.
Such a move, Macron told Netanyahu, would “contravene international law and jeopardize the possibility of a two-state solution as the basis of a fair and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
Macron also reiterated France’s “unfailing commitment” to Israel’s security and he expressed his “attachment to the friendship” between the two countries, a statement from Macron’s office said.
A statement from Netanyahu’s office noted the prime minister had “clarified” to Macron that Israel was “acting according to international law.”
Netanyahu was said to have “emphasized that the formulas of the past have led to 53 years of failure,” predicting that “a return to them will lead to additional failure.”
“Israel is prepared to hold peace negotiations on the basis of [US] President [Donald] Trump’s plan, which has new ideas that enable genuine progress,” the statement added. “It is the Palestinian refusal to conduct negotiations based on this plan and on the plans of the past that is preventing progress.”
Macron and Netanyahu also talked about the coronavirus pandemic and agreed to establish a joint working group on the matter.