Thursday, 27 July, 2017

Macron calls for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at Holocaust service

France under President Emmanuel Macron has leapfrogged the United States and Britain as the world's top'soft power with more non-military global influence than any other country Macron calls for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at Holocaust service
Kenny Thornton | 17 July, 2017, 16:30

Paris - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to hold talks on Sunday with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, marking the first time the two officials meet.

Netanyahu joined French President Emmanuel Macron at a commemoration ceremony in Paris honoring French Jews who were deported during World War II.

After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Macron told the press that Israelis and Palestinians should be able to live in recognized, secure borders.

In April, Marine Le Pen said: "France, as a nation, is not responsible for" what happened at Vel d'Hiv, prompting Macron, who was then running for president against the far-right leader of the National Front party, to visit a Holocaust monument in protest of her statement.

Macron insisted that "not a single German" was directly involved, but French police collaborating with the Nazis. He said this is "convenient, but it is false" as an interpretation of history. "We seek Lebanon's stability with due regard to all minorities", he said.

"Your struggle is our struggle", Netanyahu said, referring to Friday's attack in Jersualem, when Arab Israeli gunmen shot and killed two Israeli police officers.

The French leader also declared that Holocaust denial must be fought against and each generation must be worthy of the "examples of the Holocaust survivors".

While France has risen Donald Trump's ascent to the White House has seen the US slip from the top last year to third place in the Soft Power 30 study compiled by PR company Portland Communications and the University of Southern California

After the Holocaust ceremony, Macron also appealed for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The radical Islam that Iran and ISIS (Daesh) represent seeks to destroy us and destroy Europe.

On Monday, Netanyahu is scheduled to become the first Israeli prime minister to visit Hungary since the end of Communist rule.

Anxious that Mr Netanyahu is backing away from commitment to a two-state solution, Mr Macron assailed Jewish settlement construction as a threat to global hopes for peace.

It remains unclear, however, whether Macron will follow the more interventionist approach taken by his predecessor Francois Hollande, whose efforts to mobilize the worldwide community on the question infuriated Israel.

The French Jewish Union for Peace said it was "shocked" Netanyahu was invited to commemorate a "Franco-French crime against humanity" and claiming it was something France needed to come to terms with on its own - without creating from it worldwide diplomacy.

Two leaders also discussed fighting extremism in Syria and elsewhere, and improving economic cooperation. The Jews arrested were confined for four days at the Vel' d'Hiv velodrome, and from there deported to Auschwitz.

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