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