French President calls for Israel-PA talks

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to PA chairman, says he is determined "to work for peace in the Middle East".

Elad Benari ,

Emmanuel Macron and Mahmoud Abbas
Emmanuel Macron and Mahmoud Abbas

French President Emmanuel Macron urged fresh Middle East peace talks after Israel and the UAE agreed to normalize ties last week, AFP reports.

Taking to Twitter after a phone conversation with Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Macron said he told Abbas he was determined "to work for peace in the Middle East".

"The resumption of talks to reach a fair solution that respects international law remains a priority," he added.

Macron 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 PA condemned the agreement, with senior leader Hanan Ashrawi tweeting: "May you never be sold out by your 'friends.'"

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 normalization", 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".