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French president banned from the Knesset in Israel

November 15, 2013

The French president’s upcoming visit to Israel has stirred a diplomatic firestorm which may put a strain on relations between Jerusalem and Paris. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein is boycotting the visit after Francois Hollande decided not to appear before the Knesset, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

According to the newspaper, the Embassy of France in Israel told Mr. Edelstein that the French president not pronounce a speech inside the Parliament during his state visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories from 17 to 19 November.

Mr. Edelstein allegedly stated that if the French president was not ready to speak to the Israeli parliament, he is  not interested in hosting him , the newspaper said.

Questioned by AFP, the Embassy of France in Israel was surprised by the reaction of Mr. Edelstein as the program of the visit of French President is not yet finalized.

The president will mark his commitment to Israeli democracy and its representatives "said a diplomatic source.
In the past two French presidents had spoken inside the Israeli Parliament, François Mitterand in 1982 and Nicolas Srakozy in 2008.




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