Monday, November 14, 2011

Obama dodges Question over hotmic comment on Netanyahu

US President Barack Obama on Sunday refused to discuss an overheard conversation he was party to in which French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Israel's leader Benjamin Netanyahu a "liar".

At a press conference in Hawaii after an Asia-Pacific summit, Obama declined to comment on conversations he has with World Leaders, However Obama went on to say he had a "frank and firm" conversation with French President Nicolas Sarkozy about France's vote to allow the Palestinians to join the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

"With respect to the “hot mic” in France, I’m not going to comment on conversations that I have with individual leaders, but what I will say is this: The primary conversation I had with President Sarkozy in that meeting revolved around my significant disappointment that France had voted in favor of the Palestinians joining UNESCO, knowing full well that under our laws, that would require the United States cutting off funding to UNESCO, and after I had consistently made the argument that the only way we’re going to solve the Middle East situation is if Palestinians and Israelis sit down at the table and negotiate; that it is not going to work to try to do an end run through the United Nations.

So I had a very frank and firm conversation with President Sarkozy about that issue. And that is consistent with both private and public statements that I’ve been making to everybody over the last several months."