'Israel has secret accord with US to maintain settlements'

WikiLeaks reveals that French expected Israel to oppose pressure on freeze, said Obama's credibility based on his stance on settlements.

December 20, 2010 16:47
1 minute read.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy at NATO summit

French President Nicolas Sarkozy 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

Defense Minister Ehud Barak told French officials in Paris on June 15, 2009 that Israel has a "secret accord" with the US government to maintain the "natural growth" of settlements in the West Bank, revealed a WikiLeaks cable released on Sunday which quoted Middle East Director at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Patrice Paoli.

Paoli was noted as saying in the cable that the French anticipate strong Israeli resistance to the US government's pressure on the settlement issue.

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The Middle East Director claimed that "the credibility of President Obama will be judged on the issue of settlements."

Another French official said in the cable that the "Arabs are saying progress on settlements is crucial. Saudi Arabia and Egypt seem obsessed with the settlements issue; they won't even enter the game without progress on settlements."

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The cable also quoted Paoli as saying that French President Nicolas Sarkozy had three messages to communicate to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in a meeting the two held in Paris in June 2009:

- "You think you've got time, but you don't."
- "You think you have an alternative solution, but you don't."
- "You think you're stronger than the Palestinians, but you're not."

Paoli added that Sarkozy will stress to Netanyahu that "there is a single door and it is imperative to move through it now," the cable said.

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