French PM cancels visit to Israel for ‘domestic reasons’

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Paris, May 23 (IANS) French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has cancelled a planned trip to Israel for domestic reasons, the government’s spokesperson Benjamin Grivaux said on Wednesday.

Asked whether the cancellation was due to political reasons related to Israel’s use of force to crack down on Palestinian protesters recently in Gaza, Grivaux said “these are domestic reasons,” Xinhua news agency reported.

At a weekly briefing following cabinet meeting, the government’s spokesman added: “There is an extremely busy political agenda with a daily follow-up of the SNCF (train strike) issue and the follow-up of ongoing operations in Notre Dame des Landes,” which according to him “requires vigilance and the presence of the prime minister on national territory.”

Philippe had previously planned a two-day visit to Israel and Palestinian territories on May 31.

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