France's Macron to host Arab foreign ministers

AFP , Wednesday 22 Nov 2023

French President Emmanuel Macron will on Wednesday discuss "the situation in the Middle East" with foreign ministers from major Arab and majority-Muslim countries, his office said.

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a video-conference with G20 leaders, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Wednesday, Nov. 22 2023. AP


Joining the talks at the Elysee Palace in Paris will be the top diplomats from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey, the presidency added, as well as Arab League boss Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

France has reined in its initial support for Israeli retaliation over Hamas's October 7 offensive in which 1,200 people were killed.

With deaths in the Gaza strip mounting to over 14,000, including 5,840 children and 3,920 women, in six weeks of Israeli bombardment and ground invasion, Macron on Sunday told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu there were "too many civilian casualties" among Palestinians.

France has sent medical aid and a naval ship to assist wounded civilians, as well as offering to treat injured children on its territory.

Paris has a direct interest in the war cooling as eight of its citizens have been missing since October 7 and may have been taken as captives by Hamas.

Macron said earlier Wednesday that France was "working tirelessly to free all the captives" as he welcomed the announcement of an Israel-Hamas deal for some to be released.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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