At a press conference in Paris, FM Livni stated: "We are only conducting these overflights in order to obtain further intelligence."
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman’s Bureau)
During a Paris press conference on Wednesday, 6 December 2006, with French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni stated the following with regard to Israeli overflights of southern Lebanon: “If the arms embargo continues to be ignored, all of us – and not just Israel – will be faced with a major problem. We are only conducting these overflights in order to obtain further intelligence.” Livni noted that these overflights have received a disproportionate amount of media coverage, particularly in light of the fact that Hizbullah’s smuggling of arms into Syria is in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
With regard to the Iranian threat, Livni stated that this problem affects the entire international community, “particularly the countries in the region that do not have a Shi’ite majority.” She also emphasized “the importance of providing moderate Palestinians with a political framework” and called upon the international community to “stand firm” in order to “strengthen the position of Mahmoud Abbas,” the chairman of the Palestinian Authority. Livni noted that, as a result of the pressure the international community has been exerting on the Hamas government over the past year, “we are beginning to see the first signs of change.”
A gala evening held at the French-Israeli Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday showed the more than 400 guests in attendance that Israeli-French relationships are back on track. French Finance Minister Thierry Breton expressed his empathy for Israel, saying that he admires the Israeli people and the capacity of the country’s entrepreneurs to realize major innovations.
During her two-day official visit (5-6 Dec), Livni also met with President Jacques Chirac and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. Guests at the Chamber of Commerce dinner included Israeli Ambassador to France Daniel Shek and French Ambassador to Israel Jean-Michel Casa.