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Macron urges Abbas to 'reform' PA with 'prospect of recognition'

Macron urges Abbas to 'reform' Palestinian Authority with 'prospect of recognition'
3 min read
Macron's call with Abbas comes following the recognition of Palestinian statehood by Spain, Ireland and Norway.
Macron has previously condemned the high civilian casualties brought about by Israel's war on the enclave [Getty]

French President Emmanuel Macron urged Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas to "implement necessary reforms", offering the "prospect of recognition of the state of Palestine" during a phone call Wednesday, his office said.

Macron "highlighted France's commitment to building a common vision of peace with European and Arab partners, offering security guarantees for Palestinians and Israelis", as well as "making the prospect of recognition of a state of Palestine part of a useful process", Macron's Elysee Palace said.

The readout of the call with the chief of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank follows Tuesday's official recognition for a Palestinian state by fellow European nations Spain, Ireland and Norway, which drew ire from Israel.

Macron's Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne earlier Wednesday accused France's neighbours of "political positioning" ahead of 9 June European elections, rather than seeking a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Macron had said Tuesday that he would be prepared to recognise a Palestinian state, but such a move should "come at a useful moment" and not be based on "emotion".

France supports "a reformed and strengthened Palestinian Authority, able to carry out its responsibilities throughout the Palestinian territories, including in the Gaza Strip, for the benefit of the Palestinian people", Macron told Abbas on Wednesday, according to the Elysee Palace readout.

Abbas's office said in a statement that he expressed the Palestinian government's commitment to "reform" during the talks with Macron.

He called on "European countries that have not recognised the state of Palestine to do so".

Current fighting in Gaza was sparked by a Hamas led attack on 7 October in southern Israel.

That attack resulted in the deaths of 1,189 people according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures, with Hamas taking 252 captives, 121 of whom remain in Gaza.

Hamas says the attack came in response to decades of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and continued aggression against Palestinians. 

Israel's offensive on Gaza has killed at least 36,171 people, mostly women and children, according to the enclaves health ministry, with a further 81,420 wounded and thousands believed to be buried beneath the rubble.

Macron called civilian casualties "intolerable" and offered his "sincere condolences to the Palestinian people" for the bombing of a displaced people's camp in Rafah in southern Gaza.

He told Abbas that Paris was "determined to work with Algeria and its partners on the UN Security Council" so the body "makes a strong statement on Rafah".

Algeria's draft resolution calls on Israel to immediately halt military action in Rafah.

It comes after the International Court of Justice ordered Israel to 'immediately halt' its offensive in Rafah after South Africa requested provisional measures in the court.