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Sarkozy: 'I cannot bear Netanyahu anymore, he is a liar'

November 8, 2011 11:44

Reuters confirms French president criticized PM in private conversation with US president; Obama: I have to deal with it every day.

PM Netanyahu with French President Sarkozy [file]

PM Netanyahu with French President Nicolas Sarkozy 311. (photo credit:Amos Ben-Gershom / GPO)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a liar in a conversation with the US president, French website Arret Aur Images reported on Monday night, a report confirmed by a Reuters journalist.

"I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," Sarkozy told US President Barack Obama during a frank exchange where the US president took him to task for backing a Palestinian request for membership of the UN cultural heritage agency UNESCO.

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You're fed up, Obama responded, but I have to deal with it all day.

The comments were overheard by a small number of journalists during a meeting between Obama and Sarkozy at the G20 summit meeting on November 3. A technical failure allowed the journalists to listen to the private conversation on their monitors. They were then asked to refrain from reporting what they had heard.

A Reuters reporter was among the journalists present and can confirm the veracity of the comments, which were relayed by a French internet outlet on Tuesday.

Labor MK Daniel Ben-Simon told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that he is “embarrassed as a citizen and as a MK” by Sarkozy’s words.

“I was embarrassed to read what Sarkozy thinks about our prime minister, and I was even more embarrassed to hear that the US President agrees with him,” Ben-Simon said.

“I am filled with shame that this is the way two of our greatest allies treat our prime minister,” he added. “I think this is the first time such comments have been publicized.”

“If [Netanyahu] lies so easily to important officials, just imagine how much he lies to us,” Ben-Simon stated.

Kadima, whose last Knesset campaign slogan was "Bibi, I don't believe him," chose not to comment on the matter.

"What Sarkozy said is more than enough," a party spokesman quipped.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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