Wednesday 21 March 2018

Obama and Sarkozy in Israeli PM blunder

Adrian Blomfield in Jerusalem

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.

Irish Independent

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