France planning UNSC steps on Iran

Ambassador Bigot says patience "running out," lots of work will be done on sanctions and dialogue.

Bigot (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
French Ambassador Christophe Bigot envisaged 2010 as "an Iranian year" at a brunch that he hosted at his residence on Friday.
"We have to work a lot on Iran," he told a large group of Israeli journalists and other media. "We are planning definite decisions to be taken by the United Nations Security Council. Our patience is running out."
He added that a lot of work will be done on sanctions and dialogue during France's upcoming presidency of the UN Security Council.
France will also work towards advancing the Middle East peace process, said Bigot. While he acknowledged that France and Israel may not always agree on all the issues of the peace process, "we do understand your security constraints."
Referring to the peace process, Bigot made particular mention of the Lebanon-Syria track, in which he believes France can play a positive role because of its close relationship with Lebanon. France's efforts would be coordinated with those of Turkey, the United States and the European Union, he said.
During his previous posting to Israel six years ago, Bigot recalled, relations between France and Israel were at low ebb, but have since peaked again, he said, noting that when he presented his credentials to President Peres four months ago, the president had remarked that relations were back to what they had been in the 1950s and 60s.
Economic ties are not as strong as they should be, said Bigot, who expressed the hope that there would be an improvement following the visit to Israel by French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde some time this year. His optimism derives from the fact that Lagarde, according to Bigot, has a good relationship with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Gilad Schalit, who has French, as well as Israeli nationality, is one of 100,000 such Israelis said Bigot, stressing that the captured soldier "is one of my priorities."
Commenting on the large French aliya, Bigot said that it was no longer prompted by fear as in the past. Today French Jews immigrate to Israel out of a sense of religious conviction and Zionist vision, he said, and are enjoying both of their cultural legacies. They no longer have to choose between France and Israel, he observed. They are much more flexible and mobile than in the past and travel back and forth between the two countries.