Sarkozy calls for direct Israel-Syria talks

French president Nicholas Sarkozy said on Monday that it was imperative that Israel and Syria commence in direct talks now. According to Sarkozy, this will not happen without Syrian President Bashar Assad, therefore he must not be isolated, Israel Radio reported. Speaking in Paris at an event marking the 60th anniversary of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the French leader added that he would never shake hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who called to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Such things cannot be said after the Holocaust, and the people must consider who speaks in their name, said Sarkozy.