Sarkozy, Assad
Photo: AFP

Sarkozy asks Assad for proof of life from Shalit

French president meets Syrian counterpart as part of Mideast visit, says case of Hamas-held soldier is of personal interest to Elysée

French President Nicolas Sarkozy asked Syrian President Bashar Assad for proof of life from Gilad Shalit, an Israeli-French national held in Hamas captivity since June 2006, sources in the Elysée reported Wednesday.


Sarkozy and Assad met on Tuesday in Damascus, as part of his two-day visit to the Middle East. Sarkozy visited the area in an effort to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and end the Israeli offensive in Gaza.


"President Sarkozy used the opportunity to ask Assad for proof that Gilad Shalit is alive," said the source. "He told the Syrian president that the matter if of personal interest to him."


In his last visit to Syria, in September of 2008, Sarkozy relayed a letter from Noam Shalit, Gilad's father; in hopes that the Syrians would be able to deliver it to the captive soldier through Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal, who resides in Damascus.


Sarkozy ended his trip to the Mideast with a visit to Cairo, where he met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.


Mubarak has devised a proposal for an immediate ceasefire, which has gained the support of the US. The initiative calls for both side to hold fire without delay and for subsequent negotiations on what was defined as the "burning issues."


פרסום ראשון: 01.07.09, 10:21
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