I said in my haste, all men are liars…
Report: Sarkozy told Obama he ‘can’t bear’ Netanyahu the ‘liar’
By Natasha Mozgovaya and Reuters Published 10:28 08.11.11 Latest update 10:28 08.11.11
American and French presidents overheard when their microphones were accidentally left on after a press conference at the G20 summit.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy told U.S. President Barack Obama last week he was fed up with dealing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and considered him a liar.
Sarkozy made the comment during a private conversation with Obama during a G20 summit in the French riviera town of Cannes last week and the remarks were overheard by a small number of journalists but not initially reported.
“I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama during a frank exchange where the U.S. president took him to task for backing a Palestinian request for membership of the UN cultural heritage agency UNESCO.
A Reuters reporter was among the journalists present and can confirm the veracity of the comments, which were relayed by a French internet outlet on Tuesday.
Obama said he had to deal regularly with Netanyahu even if Sarkozy was fed up with the Israeli leader, according to the translation of a French interpreter during their Cannes exchange.
In their quest for statehood recognition, the Palestinians have requested membership of the over-arching United Nations system, in addition to its Paris-based UNESCO subsidiary.
France voted in favor of a UNESCO request that succeeded but said last week it would abstain in any vote on membership of the over-arching UN system, which Washington has vowed to veto. Paris and Washington are urging renewed peace talks between the Palestinians and Israelis.
Same story… another source…
Sarkozy and Obama’s Netanyahu gaffe broadcast via microphones
French president called Israeli PM a liar in exchange with US president inadvertently shared with journalists
By Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem and Angelique Chrisafis in Paris
The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, described the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, as a “liar” in a private exchange with Barack Obama at last week’s G20 summit in Cannes that was inadvertently broadcast to journalists.
“I cannot stand him. He’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama. The US president responded by saying: “You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day.”
Neither leader apparently realised that microphones that had been attached for a press conference had already been switched on, allowing journalists waiting for a press conference to hear the conversation.
The exchange was first reported on the French website Arrêt Sur Images, and was later confirmed by a Reuters reporter who also heard the remarks.
The gaffe came before a press conference while the two presidents were in a private room.
Arrêt Sur Images reported that while the two presidents were in private discussions in a closed room before their press conference, Élysée staff handed out translation sets to waiting journalists.
A staff member reportedly explained that the headphones to go with the translation sets were not yet being handed out because this would have allowed journalists to listen in on the private conversation still going on. Half a dozen journalists immediately plugged in their own headphones and caught three minutes of the private exchange.
The conversation apparently began with Obama criticising Sarkozy for not warning the US that France would vote in favour of the Palestinians’ application to join Unesco, the United Nations agency for culture and education.
One French journalist told Arrêt Sur Images that the conversation was broadcast for around three minutes before officials realised the mistake. Another told the website that the reporters agreed not to publicise the remarks because of their sensitive nature.
The exchange was mentioned on a blog by Le Monde’s political correspondent Arnaud Leparmentier, who said the two presidents had discussed their “difficult” relationship with Netanyahu behind closed doors.
Spokesmen for the Élysée and Netanyahu declined to comment.