Macron says recognizing a Palestinian state is not a taboo for France

AP , Saturday 17 Feb 2024

French President Emmanuel Macron said "recognizing a Palestinian state is not a ‘taboo’" for France after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah in Paris.

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Jordan s King Abdullah II address a joint statement Friday, Feb. 16, 2024 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. AP


On paper, France and the EU have long supported a two-state solution in the Mideast as part of a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Macron did not elaborate on when and under what conditions Paris could recognize a Palestinian state but France, one of just five permanent members of the UN Security Council, is unlikely to take such a decision unilaterally.

Earlier this month, Britain’s Foreign Minister David Cameron said his country could officially recognize a Palestinian state after a ceasefire in Gaza.

On Saturday, Macron said: “Our partners in the region, notably Jordan, are working on it, we are working on it with them. We are ready to contribute to it, in Europe and the Security Council."

He also called for a ceasefire in Gaza and warned that an Israeli offensive in Rafah on the border with Egypt would lead to a “humanitarian disaster without any precedent.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects Palestinian statehood, and there have been no substantive negotiations on a two-state solution since 2009.

 In December, under increasing domestic pressures, Macron, who has supported Israel’s so-called "right to defend itself," became one of the first Western countries to call for a "lasting ceasefire" in the Gaza war.

On Thursday, Macron expressed France's "firm opposition" to an Israeli offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, in a telephone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Macron told Netanyahu: "It could only lead to a humanitarian disaster of a new magnitude" and create a new risk of regional escalation, according to a statement from the presidential Elysee palace.

The French leader stressed to the Israeli prime minister that a ceasefire agreement should be reached "without further delay," adding such a deal should "guarantee the protection of all civilians and the massive inflow of emergency aid."

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