Abbas and Macron
Abbas and Macron Reuters

French President Emmanuel Macron is attempting to convince Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas not to reject the peace initiative of U.S. President Donald Trump, Channel 10 News reported on Thursday.

According to the report, Macaron sent his senior political adviser, Aurelien Lechevallier, to a secret visit to Ramallah earlier this week. French diplomats said the move was coordinated with the White House and that the main message was that the PA should give the American peace efforts a chance.

Lechevallier reportedly met with PA intelligence chief Majid Faraj, PLO Executive Committee Secretary Saeb Erekat and other senior officials in Ramallah, stressing that President macron expects the Palestinian leadership to act to prevent violence and remain committed to the two-state solution. His main message, however, was for the PA not to reject Trump’s peace plan.

“Do not reject the Trump plan outright," he told the PA officials. "Give it a chance, maybe you're right, and the plan is bad and unacceptable, but do not blow it up now, do not cancel the Oslo Accords, do not reconsider the recognition of Israel. There will be things you will not like [in the plan], but there may be interesting and positive things for you in it as well. It would be a shame if you threw the plan into the trash before you saw it. Read it first and then decide whether to say no."

News of the French official’s secret visit to Ramallah follows last month’s meeting in Paris between Macron and Abbas, which came several weeks after Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

During that meeting, Abbas declared he would "no longer accept" any peace plan proposed by the United States following the Jerusalem recognition.

"The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan from it," Abbas said.

According to Channel 10 News, following that meeting with Abbas, Macron two weeks ago hosted a delegation of senior Fatah officials and made two demands: First, that they commit to refrain from violence and the second, that they commit to a two-state solution.

French diplomats said that Macron and his advisers coordinated all their moves with President Trump and the White House. According to them, in recent weeks there have been several phone calls between Macron and Trump, in which the Israeli-Palestinian issue has also been raised.

News of the French efforts also comes as the PA prepares for another diplomatic confrontation with Israel.

Abbas is reportedly planning to bypass the U.S. and Israel altogether, by asking EU foreign ministers to recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 territories with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.