Israel silent on Sarkozy 'outburst' over Netanyahu
A report that French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu a "liar" in talks with US President Barack Obama, won wide coverage in Israel Tuesday, but officials kept silent.
The private conversation, held during the recent G20 summit in Cannes, was overheard by a number of journalists after it was inadvertently transmitted over a system used for translation, French media website Arret sur Images said.
"I can't see him anymore, he's a liar," Sarkozy said in French, to which Obama retorted: "You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day," in remarks which were translated into French.
A number of journalists contacted by AFP confirmed hearing the remarks.
The story was carried on the websites of most major Israeli dailies, although not by Israel Hayom, which is considered close to Netanyahu.
The premier's office had no immediate reaction to the report and the foreign ministry refused to comment.
Israel public radio correspondent Gidon Kutz, who covered the Cannes summit, said journalists who overheard the private conversation had agreed not to report the story due to "correctness and in order not to embarrass the presidential press service."
© 2011 AFP