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Netanyahu visits Sarkozy in Paris

27 May 2010 16:12

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Paris to discuss economic issues and Middle East peace prospect with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Netanyahu’s meeting with his French opposite number on Thursday focuses on Israel’s entry into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the international concerns over the halt of Middle East indirect peace talks, AFP reported.

Israel’s entry into the OECD comes amid the fierce criticisms by Palestinians who argue that accepting Israel into the organization is a manifest violation of the group’s commitment to human rights.

Netanyahu-Sarkozy meeting at Elysee Palace also addresses the prospect of the indirect talks with Palestine, dubbed “proximity talks”, which have been frozen since Israel announced its plan to continue building settlements in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

In an interview to Le Figaro newspaper, Netanyahu played down the reports that French president was frustrated by Israel’s urge for pursuing the settlement plans and described his relations with Sarkozy as “very friendly.”

“Among friends and members of the same family, you can have occasional disagreements, but we remain fraternal,” Netanyahu said.

Many Jewish intellectuals in France view Netanyahu as an obstacle to peace.

“European Jewish Call for Reason” or “JCall”–an online petition– signed by many prominent philosophers such as Bernard-Henri Levy and Alain Finkielkraut, has censured Netanyahu’s settlement plans in East al-Quds and warned that “Israel faces existential threats.”

“These policies are morally and politically wrong and feed the unacceptable delegitimisation process that Israel currently faces abroad,” the petition says.

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