PARIS – French President Nicolas Sarkozy has always described himself as a true friend of Israel. However, according to unusual statements attributed to him in the French magazine Le Canard Enchaîne, he unequivocally sides with the Palestinians.
The paper quotes comments made by the French leader during a cabinet meeting held upon his return from last month's UN General Assembly, Yedioth Aharonoth reported.
"It is silly to talk about a Jewish state," Sarkozy said while referring to the Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state. "It would be like saying that this table is Catholic. There are two million Arabs in Israel."
Sarkozy and Abbas (Photo: EPA)
Sarkozy is also quoted as saying that "the US has been asking (Mahmoud) Abbas for years to come to the negotiating table. He is willing to do it because he is a statesman. Netanyahu, on the other hand, never fails to disappoint us," Sarkozy said in what appears to be a cynical tone.
"Only now, he announced the construction of 1,100 housing units in the Arab part of Jerusalem," Sarkozy added.
According to the report, the French president told the ministers that he fully supports the establishment of a Palestinian state. "The Palestinians have been waiting for a state they deserve for 60 years now," he said. "Is it not fair that Palestine is recognized by the UN even in an observer status?"
Le Canard Enchaîne is well-known for its satirical tone and exposes many controversies. However, some in Paris were surprised by the report claiming that different voices have been coming out of Sarkozy's circle as of late.
The Élysée Palace did not issue a response the report.