Sarkozy tells Livni talks with Hamas a 'blunder'
French leader alleviates Israeli fears that his country softening its support for political isolation of Islamist group. Livni to Paris event honoring Israel's anniversary: We will do everything possible in order to reach a peace agreement with our Arab neighbors
"The meeting between the French envoy and representatives from Hamas was a blunder," French President Nicolas Sarkozy told Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni during their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Sunday.
"France will not hold any talks with Hamas, Sarkozy added after France appeared to be softening its support for the US-led policy of isolating the Palestinian Islamist group.
Last week French Foreign Minister confirmed a report in the French daily Le Figaro quoting a retired ambassador who it said he had met senior Hamas officials about a month ago.
According to members of Livni's entourage, the atmosphere during her meeting with Sarkozy was pleasant. The meeting was deemed highly important by the Israeli Foreign Ministry in light of the upcoming French Presidency of the European Union, which begins July 1. The meeting was also held in preparation of Sarkozy's visit to Jerusalem on June 22.
During the meeting the most senior Israeli diplomat and the French president discussed Jerusalem's demand that the international community impose harsher sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.
Livni reiterated Israel's position according to which the Islamic Republic poses a threat not only to Israel but to the entire world.
The FM also updated Sarkozy on the ongoing negotiations with the Palestinians, the developments in Gaza and the discussions with Egypt on a possible ceasefire with Hamas.
Following the meeting Sarkozy and Livni headed to Trocadero Square, located near the Eiffel Tower, to attend an event held by the local Jewish community in honor of Israel's 60th anniversary.
"This is a great moment for me, to be celebrating here in Paris with so many dear friends," Livni said during her speech. "I vow that we will do everything we can in order to reach a peace agreement with our Arab neighbors in order to turn the Middle East into a prosperous and tranquil region.
"The process in not free of dangers, but its goal of promising a better future for our children is paramount," she said.