Netanyahu to Participate in Paris UN Climate Summit Amid Recent Terror Attacks

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Credit: Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to attend the UN’s climate change summit in 10 days Paris, in light of the recent major terror attacks.

Netanyahu is interested in meeting with French President Francois Hollande and other leaders attending the gathering. Netanyahu and Hollande have yet to speak with each other by telephone in the four days since Friday’s deadly attacks.

Officials at the Prime Minister’s Office said Netanyahu is to arrive in Paris on November 29 and return to Israel the following day. They said they have begun coordinating meetings between Netanyahu and some of the leaders expected there.

Marchers at the People's Climate March on September 21 2014, in New York.Credit: AFP

It is unclear whether Netanyahu will meet U.S. President Barack Obama, considering they just met last week at the White House. Other leaders expected at the conference include Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian President Narendra Modi.

The summit has been planned for some time, and was one of the French government’s crowning glories of 2015. Despite the wave of recent terror attacks, the summit will be held without any change but under heavier security than originally planned.

Although the summit will deal with global warming and reducing carbon emissions, world leaders are sure to spend part of their time discussing the war against ISIS.

Netanyahu’s previous visit in France was last January after the previous wave of terror attacks, for a solidarity march following the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters and a kosher market in Paris. Hollande had asked Netanyahu not to attend the Paris memorial march in January. Hollande had said that he wanted to avoid anything liable to divert attention toward other controversial issues, like Jewish-Muslim relations or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu at first acquiesced to the French request and planned to visit Paris after the march to join a memorial service for the Jews murdered in the synagogue at the center of Paris. However, after then-Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and the economy minister at the time, Naftali Bennett, announced their intention to go to Paris, Netanyahu changed direction and decided to attend the march anyway.

Hollande reacted angrily at Netanyahu’s move, and his advisers made it clear to Netanyahu’s aides that the Israeli prime minister’s behavior would have repercussion on the two country’s relations, as long as Hollande and Netanyahu remain in office.