French PM Edouard Philippe Cancels Israel Trip: Official

France's Prime Minister Edouard Philippe speaks during a press conference with his Moroccan counterpart Saad-Eddine El Othmani, in Rabat, Morocco, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. Philippe is in Morocco to try to reinvigorate trade with the North African kingdom, as the former French protectorate increasingly positions itself as an economic pillar …
AP/Mosa'ab Elshamy

Paris (AFP) – France’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has cancelled a planned trip to Israel early next month, citing “domestic agenda reasons”, his office said on Wednesday.

Philippe had been expected to visit Jerusalem on June 1 for an event promoting ties between France and Israel along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He was also planning a trip to Tel Aviv as well as Ramallah in the Palestinian territories.

Aides to Philippe pointed to looming strikes in France at the beginning of June and the government’s packed reform agenda, as well as Philippe’s decision to cancel a trip to Mali in April.

But the decision comes at a particularly tense time in the Middle East with France working to maintain the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which is staunchly opposed by Netanyahu.

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