Israeli PM labels French 'pro-Arab'

24th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

JERUSALEM, Feb 23 (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon charged that the French were pro-Arab in an interview broadcast Wednesday by his country's privately run second television channel.

JERUSALEM, Feb 23 (AFP) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon charged that the French were pro-Arab in an interview broadcast Wednesday by his country's privately run second television channel.

Asked why relations had deteriorated when France had provided so much assistance to the Jewish state in its first two decades of existence after 1948, Sharon said bluntly: "First and foremost because the French are pro-Arab.

"One of the strangest things is that France refuses to consider (the Lebanese Shiite militia) Hezbollah a terrrorist organisation when it's one of the most dangerous in the world," the prime minister continued.

Sharon was referring to a February 14 meeting between his foreign minister, Silvan Shalom, and French President Jacques Chirac at which the latter insisted that the Hezbollah question was a "complex" one which needed to be studied "in all its aspects."

France was a leading Israeli arms supplier up to the 1967 Middle East war, after which it took a more critical position.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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