France’s Macron urges Abbas to ‘reform’ PA with ‘prospect of recognition’

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French President Emmanuel Macron urged Palestinian Authority (PA) chief Mahmoud Abbas to “implement necessary reforms,” offering the “prospect of recognition of the state of Palestine” during a phone call Wednesday, his office said.

Macron “highlighted France’ s commitment to building a common vision of peace with European and Arab partners, offering security guarantees for Palestinians and Israelis,” as well as “making the prospect of recognition of a state of Palestine part of a useful process,” Macron’ s Elysee Palace said.

For the latest updates on the Israel-Palestine conflict, visit our dedicated page.

The readout of the call with the chief of the PA in the West Bank follows Tuesday’ s official recognition for a Palestinian state by fellow European nations Spain, Ireland and Norway, which drew ire from Israel.

Macron’s Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne earlier Wednesday accused France’ s neighbors of “political positioning” ahead of June 9 European elections, rather than seeking a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Macron had said Tuesday that he would be prepared to recognize a Palestinian state, but such a move should “come at a useful moment” and not be based on “emotion.”

France supports “a reformed and strengthened Palestinian Authority, able to carry out its responsibilities throughout the Palestinian territories, including in the Gaza Strip, for the benefit of the Palestinian people,” Macron told Abbas on Wednesday, according to the Elysee Palace readout.

Abbas’ s office said in a statement that he expressed the Palestinian government’ s commitment to “reform” during the talks with Macron.

He called on “European countries that have not recognized the state of Palestine to do so.”

Current fighting in Gaza, controlled by the PA’ s rival Hamas, was sparked by the militant group’ s unprecedented October 7 attack on southern Israel.

That attack resulted in the deaths of 1,189 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 252 hostages, 121 of whom remain in Gaza, including 37 the Israeli army says are dead.
Israel’ s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 36,171 people in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the territory’ s health ministry.

Macron called civilian casualties “intolerable” and offered his “sincere condolences to the Palestinian people” for the bombing of a displaced people’ s camp in Rafah in southern Gaza.

He told Abbas that Paris was “determined to work with Algeria and its partners on the UN Security Council" so the body “makes a strong statement on Rafah.”

Algeria’s draft resolution calls on Israel to immediately halt military action in Rafah.

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