French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office says he has urged Israel's prime minister to accept an international inquiry into the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
Sarkozy and Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone Sunday. A statement from Sarkozy's office says he offered France's help in such a probe, sought by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Israel's ambassador to the US has said Israel rejects the idea.
The statement also says Sarkozy stressed the "urgent need" for a solution to end Israel's blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza in a way that would also "guarantee Israel's security." Sarkozy has also urged the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians based on the two-state solution.
Meanwhile, the "forum of seven ministers" convened Sunday night to discuss the global calls to investigate the flotilla raid, but did not reach any operational decisions.
The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement saying that the forum "discussed ways to make the truth about the Gaza flotilla known amid the international criticism leveled at Israel, while protecting the IDF soldiers from interrogations."
Apart from Sarkozy, Netanyahu spoke with former British PM Tony Blair, US Vice President Joe Biden and the prime ministers of Canada, Georgia, Bulgaria and Greece. The Israeli premier told the leaders that Israel conducted itself "just as any other country that is attacked with thousands of rockets would."
Earlier on Sunday Netanyahu rejected UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's recommendation to establish an international commission of inquiry into Israel's raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla.
"I told the UN chief that establishing the facts must be conducted responsibly and objectively. I am looking into other possibilities," Netanyahu told a meeting of Likud ministers.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein recommended the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry which would meet international demands.
Reuters and Roni Sofer contributed to this report