Presidents Macron and Rivlin
Presidents Macron and RivlinHezki Baruch

President Reuven Rivlin met today (Thursday) in Paris with French President Emanuel Macron. The meeting dealt, among other things, with efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program and the decision of the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes.

At the end of the meeting, the two made statements to the media. Macron said that "France is very concerned about the Iranian nuclear issue. Iran must stop deteriorating the security situation in the region and stop violating the nuclear agreement. France supports the resumption of negotiations. We need to restore the monitoring of Iran's nuclear facilities and deal with the threat of ballistic missiles."

President Macron added that "Israel's normalization agreements with Arab countries are contributing to normalization in the region and progress must be made in resolving the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. We are ready to help find a solution. There is no alternative to negotiations and recognizing the will of both parties and their aspirations for sovereignty."

Turning to the situation in Lebanon, Macron said: "We want stability and peace with the Lebanese people and we believe it is time to take responsibility. We will have to change our attitude in the coming weeks. We need to work together to find answers to security problems in the region. We must prevent the collapse of this country and promote the formation of a government with reforms."

President Rivlin said that ''a vision of partnership and peace will be achieved only through resolute opposition to the extremist Iranian position. We will not allow an Iranian establishment in Lebanon through Hezbollah and we ask all our friends, including those from France, to continue to take responsibility for Hezbollah's terrorist activities from the Lebanese government."

''We will never apologize for the right and duty we have to protect our citizens from any threat to their security. We have seen the damage that politicization has done to UN human rights bodies, and we are seeing the damage done these days to the International Court of Justice, which has succumbed to political pressure. Our hand is always outstretched for peace, towards those who sincerely desire it.

"Any attempt to bend Israel's hand through international bodies, using cynical and political use of international law, is doomed to failure and does not in any way contribute to the advancement of relations between us and the Palestinians. I thank my friend the President of France, Emanuel Macron, for the long-standing partnership of truth between Israel and France, which I sincerely hope will continue to expand and deepen even further," the president stressed.

IDF Chief of Staff Major General Aviv Kochavi, said during his visit to France: "From a security point of view, the state of Lebanon has been captured by the terrorist organization Hezbollah, has lost control of its security policy and apparently does not implement Resolution 1701."

''Hezbollah currently holds thousands of missiles and rockets that are located in the heart of a civilian population and are deliberately intended to harm Israeli citizens. The IDF will do everything to prevent this. The IDF has thousands of targets in Lebanon that grow every week and has extensive capabilities to destroy them. We will not hesitate to attack with force on the day of fire, wherever we find weapons, an enemy or state infrastructure that aids the enemy.

Kochavi stressed: "The Lebanese government is responsible for changing the situation, it and the State of Lebanon will bear full responsibility for any Hezbollah action against the citizens of the State of Israel."