Monday, November 14, 2011

Obama and Sarkozy embrace Netanyahu after hotmic comment

Days after being caught calling Benjamin Netanyahu a "liar" in a private conversation with US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President Obama are now trying to minimize the damage.

Channel 2 reported on Monday evening in the nightly news-hour, that both leaders sent personal condolence letters to Prime Minister Netanyahu mourning the loss of his father-in-law Shmuel Ben-Artzi, the Father of Sarah Netanyahu, at the age of 97.

On Wednesday, the White House said that working relations between Obama and Netanyahu were very good and that the president talks to Israel's prime minister more than any other leader.

Sarkozy sent a personal letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu over the weekend addressing the IAEA's report on Iran's nuclear program, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.

Sarkozy wrote “My dear Binyamin, allow me to express my friendship for you. There is no influence on this friendship from either our divergent viewpoints or the stories that appear in the media."

In his letter to Netanyahu, Sarkozy fiercely slammed Tehran, accusing it of spreading "propaganda lies" and promised that Paris will lead unprecedented sanctions against Iran at this week's IAEA Board of Governors meeting.

He offered Netanyahu a close cooperation on the issue of sanctions, signaling France will accept Israel's demands on toughening sanctions.

The letter is signed with the words "with friendship" in the French president's own hand-writing. The gesture is quite uncommon within diplomatic correspondence.

Meanwhile, French newspaper Le Figaro reported Saturday that Sarkozy's former envoy to the Middle East Valérie Hoffenberg asked the president to clarify the "misunderstandings" during a special visit to Israel, which may take place in January. She noted that Sarkozy has "accepted the idea," however the Élysée Palace has yet to confirm the report.