Obama and Sarkozy in Israeli PM blunder
Published 09/11/2011 | 05:00
Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy have inadvertently broadcast a private exchange during which they confessed their distaste for Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and branded him a "liar".
The French and US presidents were speaking during an encounter on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Cannes last week without realising that a simultaneous translation of their words was being transmitted to journalists outside the room.
As the conversation drifted to Israel, Mr Sarkozy is reported to have said: "I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar."
Mr Obama did not challenge the assertion, instead replying: "You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day."
The exchange provides the most tantalising evidence yet of the growing antipathy which many Western leaders are said to feel towards Mr Netanyahu.