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   International
Macron urges new Mideast talks after call with Abbas
  17, August, 2020, 12:01:12:PM

Online Desk: French President Emmanuel Macron urged fresh Middle East peace talks after Israel and the UAE agreed to normalise ties in a move praised by many Western governments, including Paris, but unanimously denounced by the Palestinians.

Taking to Twitter after a phone conversation with Mahmoud Abbas, Macron said he told the Palestinian leader he was determined ``to work for peace in the Middle East``.

He added: ``The resumption of talks to reach a fair solution that respects international law remains a priority.``

The French leader had hailed the agreement announced by US President Donald Trump on Thursday as a ``courageous decision`` by the UAE, saying it showed Dubai`s ``desire to contribute to the establishment of a just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians``.

The question of Israel`s intentions regarding the occupied West Bank remained unclear after the UAE claimed that it had extracted an agreement for a halt to ``further annexation``.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said afterwards that he had agreed only to delay, not cancel, the annexations, and that he would ``never give up our rights to our land``.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the suspension of the annexations ``must become a definitive measure``.

He also urged the resumption of talks towards a two-state solution, which he called ``the only option to enable a just and lasting peace``.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said Abbas told Macron on Sunday that the UAE, ``like any other country for that matter, cannot speak in the name of the Palestinian people``.

The Palestinian Authority refuses to ``allow the Palestinian cause to be used as an excuse to justify normalisation``, WAFA said.

It said Macron had invited Abbas to Paris to discuss the ``Palestinian question``, with the Palestinian president agreeing to such a meeting ``on the condition that a date is set quickly``.

Under the agreement with Israel, the UAE becomes just the third Arab country to recognise the Jewish state, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. BSS



  
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