French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that France will be inflexible about Iran's nuclear ambitions and that his country is determined Tehran will never acquire nuclear weapons.
The French president made the comments in Jerusalem after meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin as part of th World Holocaust Forum events, marking 75 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp.
"In the current context, France is determined that Iran never acquires a nuclear weapon, but also that we avoid all military escalation in the region," Macron said.
Macron met with Netanyahu over a breakfast where the two discussed the current situation in the Middle East. Netanyahu's office later said the two have agreed to “establish a strategic dialogue” between the countries in an effort to advance common interests.
"This is a very important change in Israeli foreign policy. It could assist us regarding things that are very important to the security of the state," said Netanyahu.
The French leader later joined Rivlin for a special press conference where the two warned about the rise of anti-Semitic sentiments in Europe. "We can see the dark shadow cast by anti-Semitism as it spreads over Europe, indicating an illness and a great danger."
Macron reiterated that France has been working hard to combat anti-Semitism. "I am committed to continuing the fight against anti-Semitism, racism, hate and all that divide our society."
The 42-year-old made clear anti-Zionism was an extension of anti-Semitism in the view of his government saying that "challenging Israel's right to exist is nothing other than anti-Semitism." and there is no denying that fact.
Macron said anti-Semitism is fought through legislation and the criminal system but sometimes it is not enough. "We must concentrate efforts on education," the president said, adding that his education minister and a delegation of schoolchildren have arrived in Jerusalem with him.
Regarding the still unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict Macron said France would be willing to help moderate negotiations if the sides were "interested in renewing them."