Hollande to give speech in Knesset

Hollande’s visit comes three weeks after Edelstein declared him persona non grata in the Knesset, because the French president opted to speak to university students and not MKs.

By
November 18, 2013 02:55
1 minute read.
French President Francois Hollande.

French President Francois Hollande 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer)

French President François Hollande will address the legislature on Monday, at the insistence of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

“It is a great honor for the Knesset to host the president of France, a country that is one of Israel’s closest allies,” Edelstein said on Sunday. “The French president is a courageous friend of ours and I am glad that he decided to speak to the people of Israel from the stage of the Knesset.” Edelstein added that he is sure the visit will be significant for both countries.

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The French head of state and his entourage, which includes his partner, journalist Valérie Trierweiler, are scheduled to arrive at the Knesset at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, where Edelstein will receive them in an official ceremony in the Chagall Hall.

After that, Hollande and Trierweiler will hold a meeting in Edelstein’s office, where they will be joined by President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich, French Ambassador Patrick Maisonnave and Ambassador to France Yossi Gal.

Hollande’s visit comes three weeks after Edelstein declared him persona non grata in the Knesset, because the French president opted to speak to university students and not MKs.

At the time, a French Embassy representative said the president’s schedule was not yet finalized, and several days later, a Knesset speech was added to his agenda.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy addressed the Knesset in 2008 and former president of France Jacques Chirac gave a speech in the Knesset in 1987, when he was prime minister.

Then-president of France François Mitterand spoke in the Knesset in 1982.


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