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Middle East

Netanyahu to meet Macron in Paris next week

media Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Tuesday 5 May. Despite disagreements over the Iran nuclear deal and the killing of over 100 Palestinian protesters in Gaza, the trip will see the launch of the France-Israel Season 2018.

Netanyahu, who visited Macron at the Elysée presidential palace on 10 December last year, will join the French leader in launching the season of cultural and scientific exchange, which will see 400 events in both countries.

In the evening they will attend the opening of an exhibition entitled Israel@Lights at the Grand Palais gallery on Paris's Champs Elysées.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was due to launch the France-Israel Season during a trip on 31 May and 1 June but the visit was cancelled due to "the work of the government".

The cancellation came after Israeli troops fired on a series of protests at the Gaza border, which have seen at least 118 Palestinians killed and thousands injured, according to Gazan health officials.

The protests reached their peak on 14 May, the day that the US transferred its embassy to Jerusalem, a move that was welcomed by Israel but criticised by France and other European countries.

France and Germany have also criticised Donald Trump's decision to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal, another decision enthusiastically welcomed by Netanyahu.

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