Israel: Netanyahu meets French president

French President Nicholas Sarkozy assured opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday that he would continue to do everything possible to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

In an hour-long meeting at the Elysee Palace, Netanyahu said despite the American national intelligence assessment, he did not see any change in Iran’s effort to obtain nuclear capability.

“Iranian missile and fissile activity continues with great momentum, so pressure must be intensified,” Netanyahu told Sarkozy.

Netanyahu brought along with him a list of French companies that still do business with Iran and urged Sarkozy to take action against them.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with Netanyahu on Friday to coordinate their messages ahead of the meeting. When it came to Iran, Netanyahu said, there was no coalition or opposition in Israel and the people of Israel were united.

Uzi Arad, Netanyahu’s foreign policy adviser, described the meeting between Sarkozy and Netanyahu as very warm, saying they have been friends for years. He said Sarkozy had violated international protocol by leaving the palace to greet Netanyahu.

Besides Iran, Netanyahu and Sarkozy discussed next week’s summit in Paris of countries that contribute to the Palestinian Authority. They discussed how to use economic incentives to help the Palestinian people.

Earlier Monday, Sarkozy met with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who abandoned his country’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Netanyahu’s associates said it was a coincidence that Gaddafi was there the same day.

Netanyahu was invited to France to speak at a conference on why the Middle East peace process has been unsuccessful.

The conference was interrupted before Netanyahu’s arrival by a Palestinian man who went on the roof of the building and demanded that the event be canceled because it was attended by two IDF generals he considered war criminals, former chief of General Staff Moshe Ya’alon and former OC Intelligence Ya’acov Amidror. The man was arrested. 


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