Macron in Israel: France “Inflexible” Over Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters/Hamodia) -
President Reuven Rivlin (R) and French President Emmanuel Macron shake hands before delivering a joint statement at the President’s residence in Yerushalayim, Wednesday. (Atef Safadi/Pool via Reuters)

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that France will be inflexible about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and that his country is determined Tehran will never acquire nuclear weapons.

“In the current context, France is determined that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon, but also that we avoid all military escalation in the region,” Macron said.

Macron made the comments in Yerushalayim after meeting Prime Minister Binymain Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin ahead of commemorations marking 75 years since the liberation of the Nazi extermination camp Auschwitz.

In his meeting with Netanyahu, the prime minister called on the French president to join the pressure and sanctions against Iran, following its steps in the nuclear sphere and its aggressive actions in the region. The two discussed the situation in Lebanon and Hezbollah’s project to manufacture precision missiles. They also discussed developments in Libya in light of the Turkish involvement.

Netanyahu and Macron decided to establish a strategic dialogue in order to continue strengthening bilateral cooperation and to achieve the objectives regarding regional issues.

Netanyahu congratulated Macron on France’s request to join the regional gas forum that was established in Cairo, in conjunction with Israel, which is cooperating in the area of natural gas in the region and the export of gas from Israel.

After their meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu said :”I have just concluded a pleasant, friendly and very productive working meeting over breakfast with my friend French President Emmanuel Macron. The meeting encompassed very many issues – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Libya and several others.

“We agreed to establish a strategic dialogue between Israel and France so as to allow us to continue cooperating vis-à-vis common interests. This is a very important change in Israeli foreign policy. It could assist us regarding things that are very important to the security of the state.

“I praised Emmanuel Macron for his steadfast position against anti-Semitism, which has found expression, for example, in his visit here in Jerusalem. I also called on him to deal with the matter regarding the murderer of Sarah Halimi, and also to act on the extradition of a murderer who murdered Jews in France and is now in Ramallah. He needs to be extradited to France. He promised to check on both issues.”