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In call with Bennett, Macron expresses concern over new settlement construction

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (left) meets French President Emmanuel Macron at the COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 1, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (left) meets French President Emmanuel Macron at the COP26 UN climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 1, 2021. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks by phone with French President Emmanuel Macron, and thanks him for support for Israel in the face of the recent wave of terror attacks.

Bennett also congratulates Macron on being elected for a second term, which began last week.

According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, the two leaders discuss “the regional security situation, with an emphasis on Iran.” They also speak about the implications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and opportunities for further cooperation on a range of issues.

The French-language readout of the call from the Elysee is much less rosy.

“While welcoming once again the recent normalization of Israel’s relations with several countries in the region, the President of the Republic expressed his concern about the recent Israeli announcements in terms of settlements, and his desire to contribute to a revival of peace efforts in the Middle East,” it reads.

Macron also brings up the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, and, while not blaming Israel, stresses France’s desire for the investigation to be brought to a rapid conclusion.

Earlier today, Bennett paid a visit to the West Bank settlement of Elkana and touted settlement as the answer to violence, lauding the recent approval of “the largest volume of construction at once” in the settlement.

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