French President Francois Hollande 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer)
French President François Hollande will address the Knesset next Monday, proving that tough diplomatic tactics can work.
The announcement came almost a week after Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said Hollande is not welcome in the legislature, as he planned not to speak to lawmakers in the Knesset but to students instead.
A French embassy representative said at the time that the president’s schedule was not yet finalized.
Hollande has since then changed his mind, and plans to bring his partner, ministers, MPs and journalists from France to the Knesset next week.
The French president will meet with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Shelly Yacimovich the opposition leader and Edelstein in the Knesset’s Chagall Hall, before delivering an address in the plenum, in French.
“This is a great honor for the Knesset to host the president of France, a country that is one of Israel’s greatest allies,” Edelstein said. “I am happy and proud that President Hollande decided to respect the Knesset and its members and speak to the Israeli people on the stage of the stronghold of Israeli democracy.”
Hollande’s change of heart came on the heels of Paris stopping world powers from signing an agreement with Teheran in Geneva which, the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius hinted would be a “fool’s game,” insufficiently neutralizing the threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
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