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.
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.
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.
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
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.