Macron sends top adviser to Jerusalem, Ramallah as France awaits US plan: report
BERTRAND GUAY (AFP)
French President Emmanuel Macron sent an envoy to Jerusalem and Ramallah this week to discuss the possibility of beginning French-led peace negotiations with Israeli and Palestinian officials, Israel’s Channel 10 reported on Wednesday.
The French National Security Adviser, said to be one of Macron’s closest confidants, reportedly held meetings with a number of officials from the Israeli government and Palestinian Authority to discuss the inclusion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the docket of the Paris Peace Forum set for November 11.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are both expected to attend.
If Trump does not announce the contents of his “deal of a century” peace plan by the US midterm elections in early november, Macron plans to offer a plan of his own, a senior Israeli diplomat reportedly told Israeli lawmakers during a private briefing last Monday.
Israeli media reports said that Alon Ushpiz -- the director of the Israeli Foreign Ministry -- told a closed session of the parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that if President Donald Trump does not present his long-promised peace plan soon after the US midterm elections on November 6, French President Emmanuel Macron will go public with his own peace initiative.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the reports contained “inaccuracies”, while a spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee said they “do not properly reflect” Ushpiz’s remarks to lawmakers.
“Naturally, due to the [closed] forum, we cannot elaborate beyond this,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.
According to a report by Channel 10 television, Macron ordered his foreign ministry in August to begin exploring possible new routes for resolving the bitterly intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and more recently signaled to Trump that France would move forward in publicizing its own plan if the US did not do so itself soon.
According to the report, Israel's Foreign Ministry and PM Netanyahu's office have engaged in considerable discussions over a possible French proposal.
Reports of a potential French peace initiative came on the heels of another report by Channel 10,citing four Western diplomats, that said Trump recently told Macron he was prepared to pressure Netanyahu to accept the US proposal once it is unveiled.
Details of the US proposal have been few and far between, but Trump has previously said he expects Israel to make concessions in any final settlement of the decades-old conflict.
Trump’s ambition to negotiate "the ultimate deal" between Israel and the Palestinians hit a roadblock in December 2017, following his controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy there.
The Palestinians have, since then, refused to meet with their American counterparts dismissing the US as an objective mediator.
The Trump administration has, in response, taken a series of punitive measures against the Palestinians -- including slashing once generous aid packages to the West Bank and Gaza Strip -- in an effort to pressure them to return to negotiations.
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Greatest Prez ever
whomever presents their plan is in for disappointment. there is nobody for Israel to negotiate peace with. just 2 terrorist factions at war with themselves