Netanyahu in Paris to Discuss Iran With Macron

Macron, who has been vocal about working to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, will host Netanyahu at the Elysee Palace. Netanyahu spoke with Jewish leaders in Paris: 'We are preventing terrible attacks, including here, in France'

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

PARIS - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Emmanuel Macron are meeting on Tuesday at 6:30 P.M. (Israel Time) in Paris as part of a European tour to rally support from European on Iran and the nuclear deal. Macron is hosting Netanyahu at the Elysee Palace.

Ahead of his meeting with Macron, Netanyahu and his wife Sara met with leaders of the Jewish community in Paris. The prime minister spoke about Israel-France relations, recent waves of anti-Semitic attacks and the threat of radical Islam. 

"We are preventing terrible attacks, including here, in France. Israel has stopped a great deal of attacks in Europe and will continue to do so," Netanyahu concluded. 

Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara met with Jewish leaders of France in Paris, June 5, 2018.
Haim Tzach / GPO

Netanyahu met on Monday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and will meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday.

The prime minister will discuss the nuclear deal in light of Washington's recent withdrawal from the accord. The French president has been vocal about working to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

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Macron met Netanyahu last December and told him he ought to "give peace a chance" and "make gestures toward the Palestinians." Macron suggested that one such gesture would be the freezing of Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank. At the time, Macron also said he told Netanyahu that U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a threat to peace, and that the French government is opposed to it. At the time, Netanyahu told Macron Israel "would not tolerate" Iran's presence in Syria.

On Monday, Netanyahu met with Merkel in Berlin where he warned that Iran's goal is to wage a religious war in Syria. "This will inflame a religious war, and the consequences will be many more refugees and you know exactly where they'll come," Netanyahu said at a joint press conference, adding "Iran must leave Syria. All of Syria."

Talks on the presence of Iranian fighters in Syria come against the backdrop of reports regarding understandings reached with Russia to keep Iranian forces away from the Israeli border.

Merkel, who stands by the nuclear agreement, said Germany supports Israel's right to security. "We have the same goal that Iran must never get a nuclear weapon and the difference between us is how to do that," she added.

In recent weeks, Europeans countries have expressed concern over Israel's use of live fire during mass Palestinian protests along the Gaza border. Macron and May are expected to bring up the violent escalation in Gaza and urge Israel to act with restraint.