France urges Israel to drop West Bank annexation plan

Emmanuel Macron and Benjamin Netanyahu

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron has asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to drop any plan to annex parts of the West Bank and elsewhere, the French presidency said in a statement.

In a telephone conversation on Thursday, Macron reminded Netanyahu of France’s commitment to peace in the Middle East and asked him to refrain from taking any measure to annex Palestinian territories, the Elysee said in the statement on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Macron said that such move would be against international law and would jeopardize the possibility of a two-state solution and the establishment of a fair and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Netanyahu had previously set 1 July as the starting date for his plan to annex the Jordan Valley and some other settlements in the West Bank. On 1 July, Netanyahu did not make any statement about delaying or calling off the plan. His office only said the prime minister will continue to hold discussions with the US teams in the coming days.

On 6 July, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi told Kan Bet Radio that the annexation of the occupied West Bank is currently not on the government’s agenda.