Macron urges resumption of Mideast talks based on two states

French President Emmanuel Macron called Sunday for a resumption of long-stalled Middle East peace talks based on a two-state solution.
"France is ready to support all diplomatic efforts towards this end within the parameters of peace recognised by the international community," Macron said after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
He said Israelis and Palestinians should be able "to live side by side within secure and recognised borders with Jerusalem as the capital".
Stressing that international law should be "respected by all", Macron said he was referring to Israel's "continued building of settlements" in occupied Palestinian territory, a policy opposed by France.
"I hope everything will be done for negotiations to move forward," he said as he and Netanyahu made joint statements to the press.
Talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been at a standstill since the failure of US mediation in the spring of 2014.
The leaders of France and Israel have paid homage to the Jewish victims of a mass deportation to Nazi concentration camps 75 years ago.
On July 16-17 1942, French police under the Vichy regime - a puppet government of Nazi Germany - launched "Operation Spring Breeze," which led to the roundup of more than 13,000 Jews in Paris. They were held in a cycling arena, the Velodrome d'Hiver, or the Vel d'Hiv for short.
They were kept in cramped conditions with little food or water before being sent to concentration camps. Fewer than 100 survived the war.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu marked the anniversary with a ceremony at the arena on Sunday.
Paris Gedenken Razzia vom Vel d'Hiv (Getty Images/AFP/K. Zihnioglu)
Macron called French responsibility "a stark truth"
The president denounced his country's collaboration in the Holocaust, and lashed out at right-wing nationalists who still downplay the French role in the deaths of tens of thousands of Jews.
"It was indeed France that organized this," he said, adding that "not a single German" was directly involved, but only French police collaborating with the Nazis.

Controversial presence
But the presence of the Israeli leader infuriated some.
The Union of French Jews for Peace (UJFP) described the decision to invite Netanyahu as "shocking" and "unacceptable".
And former French ambassador to Israel, Elie Barnavi said, "The presence of Netanyahu makes me a little uneasy."
"This story has nothing to do with Israel," he added.
Elie Barnavi (DW/B. Riegert)
Barnavi: "This story has nothing to do with Israel"
Netanyahu's visit comes just after a surge of violence in Israel, where a gun attack by three Arab Israelis in Jerusalem's Old City Friday left two Israeli police officers and the attackers dead.
Macron defended his decision to invite the controversial Israeli leader, calling it a "natural gesture."
France backs two-state solution
But in an interview Sunday in the Journal du dimanche newspaper, he insisted he was "not trying to confuse the subject of the commemoration and Franco-Israeli relations."
Earlier this month, Macron hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the Elysee Palace.
He used the opportunity to reiterate both France's support for a two-state solution to end the Middle East conflict, and its opposition to Israel's building of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.
It remains unclear, however, whether Macron will follow the more interventionist approach taken by his predecessor Francois Hollande, whose efforts to mobilize the international community on the question infuriated Israel.
Stalled peace talks
Talks between the Israelis and Palestinians have been on ice since a failed US mediation effort in the spring of 2014.
Since then the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has simmered on, with the occasional surge of violence such as Friday's killings.
"France and Europe have to get to grips with the question," former ambassador Barnavi said.
US President Donald Trump (Reuters/G. Fuentes)
Trump has an enigmatic view of the Middle East conflict
"There is perhaps an opportunity, given the state the White House is in at the moment, and the 'plans' of Donald Trump, which are still pretty vague and mysterious," he added.
Trump seemed to back away from Washington's longstanding commitment to a two-state solution, but he called on both sides to make compromises during a visit to the region in May.
So far he hasn't offered specifics on how he would resolve the decades-old conflict.
Macron urges resumption of Mideast talks based on two states Macron urges resumption of Mideast talks based on two states Reviewed by Alexander Von Stern on 07:51:00 Rating: 5