French President Nicolas Sarkozy told President Barack Obama last week he was fed up with dealing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and considered him a liar. Sarkozy made the comment during a private conversation with Obama during a G20 summit in the French riviera town of Cannes last week and the remarks were overheard by a small number of journalists but not initially reported.
“I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama during a frank exchange where the US president took him to task for backing a Palestinian request for membership of the UN cultural heritage agency UNESCO.
A Reuters reporter was among the journalists present and can confirm the veracity of the comments, which were relayed by a French internet outlet today. (Source)
The Palestinians will not accept anything less than full UN membership and do not want an upgrade to an observer state in the world body, their foreign minister said.
Riyad al-Malki’s remarks on Thursday suggested the Palestinians would not seek such an upgrade once their bid for full state membership meets its widely expected fate; failure due to opposition from the United States and other governments.
Malki told journalists in Ramallah the Palestinians could have won observer state status long ago and were not interested in it now. They currently hold the status of observer entity.
Is Israel a strategic asset or liability for the United States? Interesting question. We must thank the Nixon Center for asking it. In my view, there are many reasons for Americans to wish the Jewish state well. Under current circumstances, strategic advantage for the United States is not one of them. If we were to reverse the question, however, and to ask whether the United States is a strategic asset or liability for Israel, there would be no doubt about the answer.