Macron tells Netanyahu to 'give chance' to peace

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Paris, Dec 11: French President Emmanuel Macron told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to give chance to peace process in the Middle East by taking "courageous gestures" toward Palestinians to end the deadlock.

"France remains convinced that the only solution... is to allow the establishment of two states living side by side in peace and that this can emerge through negotiation," said Macron, Xinhua reported.

"I say to him (Netanyahu) to let a chance to peace, make a gesture toward the Palestinians. Peace does neither depend on the United States alone nor France. It depends on the ability of Israeli and Palestinian leaders to do so," he added.

In a joint press conference with the Israeli top official, the French President pointed to the necessity that Tel Aviv freezes settlements to send message of confidence to Palestinians in a bid to resume talks and "break the current stalemate."

Speaking about the US initiative to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Macron reiterated that it was "contrary to international law and dangerous to peace."

"I disapprove (US President Donald) Trump declaration as it is not in accordance with the international law. I decided not to be consistent with this perspective," he told reporters.

For his turn, Netanyahu said "Peace (talks) will progress if the Palestinians recognize the reality of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "

"The most important thing about peace is first of all to recognize that the other side has a right to exist... If Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wants peace, then he comes and sits down and negotiates with Israel," he added.

Brokered by the US, the last direct peace negotiations stopped in April 2014 as rival camps failed to come out with tangible results due to differences on major issues like settlement, security, borders and the recognition of a Palestinian state.