Sarkozy reassures Israel over Iran threat: Jewish leaders

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has reassured Jewish leaders that France will side with Israel against any threats from Iran, two Jewish organisations said Thursday.

Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, and Richard Prasquier, head of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions (CRIF), said in a statement they met with Sarkozy on Wednesday for about an hour.

Their discussion included the new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that raised "serious concerns" about Iran's nuclear activities, including "credible" information Tehran may have worked on developing nuclear weapons.

Sarkozy assured them of France's unwavering support of Israel in the face of such threats.

"The French president recalled his personal commitment to Israel, which has always been a matter close to his heart throughout his long political career...," the Jewish leaders' statement added.

Sarkozy also called for resuming peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which France was ready to support.

While France voted in favour of allowing the Palestinians to join UNESCO, Sarkozy said France would not support the Palestinians' demand for full membership in the United Nations, the statement added.

© 2011 AFP

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