PM sends personal envoy to meet Hollande

Ya’akov Amidror may have outlined Israel’s position ahead of Abbas talks with French president.

June 7, 2012 23:30
1 minute read.
FRENCH PRESIDENT François Hollande 370

FRENCH PRESIDENT François Hollande 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A little more than a month after the French political map changed dramatically with the defeat of Nicolas Sarkozy by François Hollande, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser Ya’akov Amidror met in Paris this week with the country’s new leadership.

The meetings took place Wednesday, just prior to the arrival in Paris of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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Amidror met both with Hollande, the new president, and with new Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

One official said it was unusual for Netanyahu to send a personal envoy to a newly elected leader, rather than working through Israel’s local ambassador to pass on messages. He said this could indicate an attempt to ensure that the new Socialist government remains as tough on the Iranian issue as was the Sarkozy government.

Dispatching Amidror to Paris, however, could also have been to brief the new French leadership on Israel’s position on the Palestinian issue before Abbas presented his case. Abbas was scheduled to meet Fabius late Thursday, and with Hollande on Friday.

A statement put out by the Elysee said that Amidror brought a personal message from Netanyahu. The content of that message was not revealed.

The French said Hollande expressed France’s desire to deepen bilateral ties between the countries and to develop the existing ties between the French and Israeli societies in all fields. Hollande said he was interested in meeting Netanyahu soon, though no date for a visit was set.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not issue any statement about the meeting, or Amidror’s meeting that same day with Fabius.

Amidror frequently makes quick diplomatic trips to foreign capitals, but these are done discretely and without any accompanying publicity.

Amidror likes to work in the shadows, one government official said.

The French Foreign Ministry said the two men discussed France’s commitment to a peace agreement in the Middle East, as well as its unyielding determination on the Iranian nuclear issue.

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