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France to work on new UN Gaza ceasefire resolution, Macron says

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - France will work with Jordan and the United Arab Emirates to convince Russia and China to back a resolution at the United Nations for a ceasefire in Gaza after the two big powers blocked a text by the U.S., President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday.

"Following the Russian and Chinese veto a few minutes ago, we are going to resume work on the basis of the French draft resolution in the Security Council and work with our American, European and Arab partners to reach an agreement," Macron said at end of a European Union leaders' summit in Brussels.

France's foreign ministry said on Thursday it had started drafting a resolution with diplomats, saying they would put a draft forward if the U.S. resolution did not pass.

The U.N. Security Council on Friday failed to pass a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as part of a hostage deal, the first time the U.S. has backed such language.

The resolution called for an "immediate and sustained ceasefire" lasting roughly six weeks that would protect civilians and allow for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Macron said that the change in tone from Washington meant that he was hopeful a new resolution with Arab states could succeed if they were able to convince Russia and China not to oppose.

"What is important to note is that the U.S. has changed its position and has indicated its desire to now very clearly defend a ceasefire, which is a good thing for us and for the progress of our draft," Macron said.

(Reporting by John Irish, editing by GV De Clercq, Hugh Lawson, William Maclean)