Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas will meet Friday in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron to address the issue of Israeli-Palestinian relations.
Abbas last met with Macron in December in Paris. During the visit, he rejected any role for the U.S. in the peace process. The PA leader has increasingly attacked the U.S. since Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, calling Trump’s proposal the “slap in the face of the century” and claiming that Israel was a European “colonial project.
France also has criticised Donald Trump’s administration’s policy towards the Palestinians, especially the transfer of his embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May.
In January, a few weeks after the transfer was announced, Macron’s foreign policy adviser, Aurelien Lechevallier, made a secret visit to Ramallah and met with Palestinian Authority security chief Majed Faraj, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and other officials.
During the meetings, Lechevallier stressed that Macron expected the PA to remain committed to nonviolence and a two-state solution, as well as to giving Trump’s peace plan a “chance”.
The report said Lechevallier told Palestinians that although they may oppose the plan, they should not end their recognition of Israel in protest or ditch the Oslo Accords, which formalized the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and created the Palestinian Authority.
“Perhaps you are right and the plan is bad and unacceptable. But don’t ruin it now,” Lechevallier said. “It would be a shame if you throw the plan away before you get it. First read it and then decide if you want to say no.”
Macron has been working to appease Abbas for the past ten months, officials say, telling him in January that he “has international support.