Entries in President Nicolas Sarkozy (4)


President Obama Criticized for Hot Mic Israel Comments

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Abraham H. Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, criticized President Obama for his conversation with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the G-20 last week that was picked up by a hot microphone.

“I can’t see him anymore, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy said, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day,” President Obama replied.

Said Foxman, “We are deeply disappointed and saddened by this decidedly un-Presidential exchange between Presidents Sarkozy and Obama.  President Obama’s response to Mr. Sarkozy implies that he agrees with the French leader.”

Foxman continued, “In light of the revelations here, we hope that the Obama Administration will do everything it can to reassure Israel that the relationship remains on a sure footing and to reinvigorate the trust between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, which clearly is not what it should be. What is sad is that we now have to worry to what extent these private views inform foreign policy decisions of the U.S. and France – two singularly important players in the peace process.”

Republicans also pounced on the comments, with GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., saying, “Today we learned in word what we have already seen from President Obama through his actions, his lack of commitment to the nation of Israel.  When the President complains about his relationship derisively with the Prime Minister as ‘Having to deal with him every day,’ it is apparent that he is not committed to our ally Israel.”

Bachmann called “on the President to immediately apologize to Prime Minister Netanyahu and he should demonstrate leadership and demand that the French President do the same.”

And on Fox News, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said “obviously I would probably fire some aides that allowed that to happen if I were in their place.. It really is indicative of the attitude and policies that this administration has towards Israel.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Muslim Women Arrested for Defying France's Burqa Ban

Abid Katib/Getty Images(PARIS) -- Muslim women defied France's new ban on full-face veils Monday and at least two protesters were arrested outside Notre Dame cathedral for wearing the traditional masks, which the French president has called "a sign of enslavement."

Three women wearing niqabs -- a veil that leaves just a slit for the eyes -- joined a protest of about a dozen people outside the famous Paris cathedral, saying the ban violates their freedom of religion. Two of the women were arrested and charged with staging an unauthorized protest.

It was unclear whether the women would be fined the $215 penalty the law imposes for wearing a veil.

There are some five million Muslims living in France, but only about 2,000 women are estimated to wear the now outlawed veils. Many of those women have vowed to defy the ban.

The ban implemented Monday comes two years after French President Nicolas Sarkozy first suggested outlawing the veils.

The penalty for forcing a woman to wear a veil is far stiffer than that for a woman caught wearing one. People found forcing a woman to cover her face are subject to a $43,000 fine and up to a year in prison.

Many opponents of the ban say it violates the country's religious freedom statutes.

Head scarves are still legal, but the niqab and burqa, from which women peer out through a screen, are banned.

France is the first country to implement such a ban. Italy is mulling a similar law.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


French Ambassador: Gadhafi Must Go

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- France's ambassador to the United Nations, Gerard Araud, says Moammar Gadhafi's removal was an objective of French support for a coalition attack on Libya, adding that the "moral and human reaction" to Gadhafi's attacks on Libyan citizens drove their leadership of coalition efforts.

"It was impossible to consider a victory of Gadhafi and Gadhafi taking Benghazi," Araud told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour. "He was saying that they will search house by house. He was referring to rivers of blood. It was simply totally impossible to accept it.

"We want the Libyan people to be able to express their will," Araud added. "And we consider that it means that Gadhafi has to go."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ready to Strike: World Leaders Prep Military Action Against Libya

U.S. Department of State(PARIS) -- Arab and European leaders Saturday began taking military action to stop Moammar Gadhafi’s attacks on the Libyan people.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy made the announcement following an emergency summit in Paris.

“Participants agrees to use all the necessary means, in particular military means, to enforce the Security Council decisions,” Sarkozy said through a translator.

The decision comes in response to attacks by Gadhafi’s forces on the town of Benghazi.

 “As of now our aircraft are preventing planes from attacking the town,” Sarkozy said.

“These Arab peoples need our help and support and it is our duty to provide it.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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