LONDON: France is willing to contribute to efforts towards lasting peace between Israel and Palestinians, Emmanuel Macron told a US-based Jewish advocacy group on Wednesday.
The French president was addressing the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Virtual Global Forum just weeks after an 11-day Israeli bombing campaign of Gaza killed hundreds of Palestinians including 66 children. Rockets fired from Gaza killed 12 Israelis.
During the fighting last month, Macron spoke to both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders and said he worked with Egypt and Jordan on the ceasefire.
Macron told the AJC event that the Gaza fighting “demonstrate the necessity for a decisive boost to the negotiations” to achieve lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace.
“We know the parameters to reach a two-state solution, and France stands willing to contribute, while respecting the legitimate aspirations of each party.”
However he also backed Israel’s “right to defend itself,” highlighting “France’s profound attachment to Israel’s security since its creation.”
On Iran, Macron said there was no alternative other than a negotiated solution to restoring a deal restricting Iran’s nuclear program.
But he said: “Iran must show evidence of their responsibility in the region.”
France, he added, had been proposing since 2018 that Iran’s missile program and destabilizing activities across the Middle East should be factored in to any resurrection of the nuclear deal.
Macron also said he wanted to remind the Jewish community of his “unwavering commitment” to combat antisemitism.