Macron calls for renewed peace talks, vows to strengthen Israeli-French relations

After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with French President Emmanuel Macron for the first time, the two held a joint press conference, where they promised to work together to strengthen their countries’ ties with each other. Netanyahu’s next stop on his current trip abroad is Hungary.

Watch: Netanyahu receives a warm welcome in France

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Shortly after participating in a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the deportation of French Jews during the Second World War, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace. At the end of the meeting, the two held a joint press conference.

Macron told reporters that he anticipates the renewal of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and that France is ready to do whatever is needed in order to advance the negotiations. In response, Netanyahu said that the main issue between Israel and the Palestinians is the latter’s lack of readiness to accept the existence of a Jewish state.

Netanyahu and Macron in France, today Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Macron condemned the Friday morning terror attack in Jerusalem, which claimed the lives of two Israeli police officers. The French leader added that he discussed with Netanyahu the situation in the Middle East and said that the two of them are committed to fighting terrorist organizations. In addition, Macron said that he plans to strengthen France’s relations with Israel.

Watch: Netanyahu and Macron during their first meeting

During the ceremony commemorating the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup, Netanyahu delivered a speech, which he began in French. “I've come here today from Jerusalem, the eternal united capital of the Jewish people and the Jewish state,” he said. “I've come here to bow my head in memory of our slain brothers and sisters, slaughtered solely because they were Jews. I've come here to mourn with you the victims. My wife Sara, who's with us, lost her entire family in the Holocaust. We all come to mourn together the victims, but at the same time to proudly declare: Am Yisrael Chai! The people of Israel lives!”

Netanyahu is currently in Paris as part of his 5-day foreign tour in Europe. His next stop is Hungary, where he will meet with Hungarian, Polish, Czech and Slovakian leaders. “We are strengthening the ties with the countries of the five continents: Asia, Africa, Australia, North and South America,” Netanyahu said before departing from Israel on Saturday evening. “But it is also very important to us to improve the relations with the countries in Europe.”

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