France's Macron to Visit Israel, Palestinian Territories to Push Two-state Solution

Macron will also visit Lebanon and Jordan during his planned visit next spring

French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris, France, July 16, 2017.
Michel Euler/AP

French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to the Middle East next spring, in a trip including Israel and the Palestinian territories, to help the peace process in the region and promote a two-state solution.

"We will continue our efforts with the United Nations to find a two-state solution, Israel and Palestine, living safely side-by-side within borders recognised by the international community, with Jerusalem at the capital of both states," he told a gathering of French ambassadors.

Besides Israel and the Palestinian territories, Macron said the trip will include Lebanon and Jordan. 

Macron said on Tuesday that ensuring national security would be at the heart of France's diplomatic activity and he set eradicating "Islamist terrorism" as his core foreign policy goal. 

In his first annual address to France's 170 ambassadors, Macron confirmed an already noticeable shift – promising to focus on initiatives that could bring concrete results, such as brokering peace talks in Libya and leading efforts to address Europe's migrants crisis. 

"I want France to propose solutions and initiatives when there are new crises," he said. "The fight against Islamist terrorism is the priority of France's foreign policy. France's security is the main purpose of our diplomacy." 
French interventions in Africa and the Middle East have exposed it to attack by Islamist militants.

Macron told Netanyahu that he supports Trumps efforts and that the settlement-building plans that Israel has advanced in the past six months have made an already complicated situation that much harder, the sources said.

Last month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Macron during their meeting in Paris that he was skeptical about the peace efforts being made by U.S. President Donald Trump, diplomatic sources familiar with the conversation told Haaretz.