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France welcomes the normalization of UAE-Israel relations

FILE PHOTO: French European and Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, wearing protective face masks, leave following the last weekly cabinet meeting before summer vacation break, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 29, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - France welcomes the normalization of diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday.

Israel’s decision to suspend its planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank under the historic agreement is a “positive step”, Le Drian said in a statement, adding that the suspension “must become a definitive measure.” The accord paved the way for a resumption of talks between Israelis and Palestinians with the aim to establish two states, he said, calling it “the only option” to achieve peace in the region.

Reporting by Henri-Pierre André and Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Leslie Adler