Sarkozy asks Israeli PM to accept 'impartial' Gaza inquiry
French President Nicolas Sarkozy Sunday asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept "a credible and impartial inquiry" into the deadly raid on Gaza aid ships, in which France is willing to participate, the president's office said.
In a telephone conversation with Netanyahu, Sarkozy asked him "to follow the requests of the United Nations Security Council with regard to putting in place a credible and impartial inquiry on the conditions of the Israeli intervention against the 'freedom flotilla'" bound for Gaza last week, the presidency said in a statement.
Sarkozy also expressed France's willingness to participate in the inquiry, it added.
"Concerning the situation in the Gaza Strip, the head of state stressed the urgent need for a solution to end the (Israeli) blockade," the statement said.
The French president also urged relaunching the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank to reach of the goal of two states, "Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security," it said.
However, Israel's ambassador to Washington said Sunday his government would conduct its own investigation and would not participate in an independent, international inquiry into the May 31 raid that left nine people on board an aid ships dead.
© 2010 AFP