PARIS: The US has excluded itself as a mediator in the Middle East peace process, France’s foreign minister said on Friday, after US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as its capital.
“I hear some, including Mr. Tillerson, say things will happen in time and the hour is for negotiations. Until now it could have had a mediation role in this conflict, but it has excluded itself a little. The reality is they are alone and isolated on this issue,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Inter radio.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Paris on Friday to join an international meeting on Lebanon and will hold bilateral talks with Le Drian.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron appealed for calm on Friday after US President Donald Trump’s widely-criticized recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Speaking at a meeting to discuss Lebanon, Macron said the decision should not “add to the instability of the region. I’m issuing a call for calm and responsibility by everyone which is essential for the efforts we are undertaking here.”
Palestinian factions called for a “Day of Rage” on Friday, after Israeli troops and Palestinians clashed in the West Bank and Gaza on Thursday. At least 31 people were wounded by Israeli gunfire and rubber bullets, medics said.