French President Nicolas Sarkozy will visit Jerusalem to assuage the diplomatic damage caused by a gaffe he recently made at the G-20 gathering, a Jewish French diplomat said on Thursday.
France’s former special envoy to the Middle East Valerie Valerie Hoffenberg said her ex-boss would visit “soon” to try to clear up the “misunderstanding of the Israeli [government] concerning France’s position.”
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Sarkozy gaffe rekindles talk of US-J'lem tensions
Sarkozy was quoted as calling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “a liar” in a conversation with
US President Barack Obama at the G-20 summmit in Cannes earlier in the week.
The remark, which was made in private but overheard by the press,
has created a full-scale diplomatic crisis involving the governments of
Sarkozy told members of the World Jewish Congress on
Wednesday during a meeting at the
Elysée Palace in Paris that he had defended Netanyahu a number of times, according to sources from the gathering who spoke with
The Jerusalem Post
by telephone from the French capital.
“I have defended
Bibi throughout my political life,” the French president said, according to the
sources. He added that he was a longtime supporter of Israel and its leadership,
even when people made anti- Semitic slurs against him as a
Sarkozy told the Jewish leadership he felt that Israel had lost
the media war and had failed to make its case to the international community
that it wanted peace, according to the sources.