When asked about the possibility of France recognizing a Palestinian state, French President Emmanuel Macron, in an apparent reference to the US president’s Jerusalem declaration, said he will “not take any decision in reaction to any decision.” The statement was made as Macron sat with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a photo op before their private meeting.
Netanyahu and Ma Photo Credit: GPO
On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Before their meeting, the two leaders posed for a photo op and answered reporters’ questions. When asked about the possibility of France recognizing a Palestinian state, Macron stated, “I will not take any decision in reaction to any decision,” apparently referring to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the embassy move from Tel Aviv to the city.
Macron continued by stating “Jerusalem will be the capital of both sides” and that the best way to move forward is to work fairly towards a peace process. This statement comes amid reports about a few European countries discussing the possibility of recognizing a Palestine state in response to Trump’s announcement.
The French leader then praised his country’s relationship with Israel, saying that it is important that Paris remains “a partner for the security of Israel.” Netanyahu responded to Macron’s remark by stressing that Israel and France’s strong relationship is also crucial for the security of Europe.
Watch: Netanyahu and Macron in Davos
Netanyahu also met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Davos and discussed the Iran deal. While Netanyahu implored her to implement substantial alterations to the agreement, Merkel stated that she understands Israel’s concerns regarding this issue. “It was an important meeting,” Netanyahu said following his conversation with Merkel. “I said that in my view, the only existing option at the moment is to put in real – not cosmetic – changes that will prevent Iran from going nuclear, which would otherwise be assured by the agreement as it stands.”
In addition, the Israeli prime minister met with his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau. Netanyahu said in a Facebook post after the meeting that he discussed the nuclear deal with Trudeau and stressed that Israel “will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria.” Netanyahu also invited Trudeau and other world leaders to visit Israel.