PM Sharon meets French FM Barnier
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today, (Monday), 7 February 2005 met with French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier.

Prime Minister Sharon welcomed the Foreign Minister on his arrival in Israel and said: “We are pleased to host Mr. Barnier, I am sure that his visit will result in the strengthening of relations between Israel and France and will definitely aid in achieving a settlement in the Middle East. We are advancing it in Jerusalem, the capital city of the Jewish nation, the united capital of Israel.”

French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said that he is pleased to be fulfilling his promise to Prime Minister Sharon to visit Israel again. The Foreign Minister added that he is pleased to be meeting the Prime Minister at a time of action through negotiations and hope that the evacuation of Gaza is beginning.

The Foreign Minister said that France together with the European Union is interested in advancing and guiding the peace process. Furthermore, France welcomes the renewal of the peace process which is due to begin tomorrow with Prime Minister Sharon meeting Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu-Mazen.