France asks Israel to drop West Bank annexation plans

Macron told Netanyahu that France remained committed to Israel’s security and “expressed his attachment to the friendship and confidence that links France and Israel.” (File/AFP)
Updated 10 July 2020

France asks Israel to drop West Bank annexation plans

  • Macron said annexation “would jeopardize the possibility of a two-state solution”
  • The controversial move was endorsed in a Middle East plan unveiled by US President Donald Trump in January

PARIS, France: Emmanuel Macron asked Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to refrain from annexing Palestinian territory in the West Bank and elsewhere during a telephone call between the two leaders, the French president’s office said on Friday.
Macron “emphasised that such a move would contravene international law and jeopardize the possibility of a two-state solution as the basis of a fair and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” his office said in a statement after the call on Thursday.
It was the latest move by European leaders pressing Netanyahu to drop plans to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the strategic Jordan Valley.
The controversial move was endorsed in a Middle East plan unveiled by US President Donald Trump in January.
Israel’s government had set July 1 as the date when it could begin taking over the Palestinian areas, where the population of Israeli settlers has grown since the 1967 Six-Day War.
The foreign ministries of France and Germany, along with those of Egypt and Jordan — the only Arab states to have peace deals with Israel — warned this week that any annexation could have “consequences” for relations.
But Macron told Netanyahu that France remained committed to Israel’s security and “expressed his attachment to the friendship and confidence that links France and Israel,” his office said.


Philippines’ ambassador to Brazil ordered home after ‘mistreating’ employee

Updated 20 min 38 sec ago

Philippines’ ambassador to Brazil ordered home after ‘mistreating’ employee

  • Marichu Mauro, who was posted to Brazil in 2018 and also had jurisdiction over Colombia, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela

MANILA: The Philippines ordered its ambassador to Brazil to return home Monday after video footage showed her “mistreating” a Filipino domestic helper.
Marichu Mauro, who was posted to Brazil in 2018 and also had jurisdiction over Colombia, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela, was under investigation, the foreign ministry said.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs has instructed the Philippine Ambassador to Brazil to return home immediately following release of video footages showing her berating and mistreating her household staff,” the statement said.
The announcement came after Brazil’s GloboNews broadcast security camera footage which they said showed Mauro repeatedly assaulting a female member of her household staff.
GloboNews said the woman worked at the ambassador’s official residence in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia.
The images — dated from March to October — were used as evidence in a complaint lodged against Mauro in late August, it said.
The foreign ministry said the staff member left Brazil last week and was back in the Philippines where authorities would seek her cooperation in the case.
Millions of Filipinos work abroad and the money they send home spurs the local economy where many still live in deep poverty despite the country’s robust growth in recent years.
Abuse of overseas workers has been reported in the past, but almost all of the cases involved foreign employers.