Israeli and French Foreign Ministry Officials Meet to Discuss Recent Events in Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
28 June 1999

Acting Deputy Director-General of the Foreign Ministry’s Europe Division David Granit met today (Monday), 28.6.99, with his French counterpart, the Deputy Director of the French Foreign Ministry’s Middle East Department, Yves Aubin de la Messuziere.

Israel firmly expressed its objections to the French delegation, in particular to the statement by the French President according to which he sides with Lebanon in the current crisis.

Israel also stressed that it takes exception to France’s contact with a government which has not yet officially taken office, addressing them in Tel Aviv rather than Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, as well as the lack of responsibility demonstrated by France, which heads the committee for monitoring the implementation of the Grapes of Wrath understandings in southern Lebanon.

The French delegation responded that President Chirac did not say that he sided with Lebanon. They expressed regret that a letter was mistakenly sent to the prime minister-elect, who has not yet officially taken office, and promised that in the future France will adopt a substantive approach in judging Hizballah’s acts of terrorism in southern Lebanon.

A letter from Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon to his French counterpart M. Hubert Vedrine was also delivered at the meeting.