Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Loose Lips Sink Ships-Sarkozy/Obama Quips

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, and US President Barack Obama walk together during arrivals for the G20 summit in Cannes, France on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011.

Yann Le Guernigou, Reuters, reports on the following incident from the G-20 Summit:
French President Nicolas Sarkozy branded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "a liar" in a private conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama that was accidentally broadcast to journalists during last week's G20 summit in Cannes.
"I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama, unaware that the microphones in their meeting room had been switched on, enabling reporters in a separate location to listen in to a simultaneous translation.
"You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.

The technical gaffe is likely to cause great embarrassment to all three leaders as they look to work together to intensify international pressure on Iran over its nuclear ambitions.
White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to comment on the conversation.
Netanyahu's office declined to comment, but one of his deputies, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, played down the episode.
"Everyone talks about everyone. Sometimes even good friends say things about each other, certainly in such competitive professions," Shalom, a former foreign minister and rival of Netanyahu in the rightist Likud party, told Israel's Army Radio.
"So you have to consider the main things. Is Obama a friend of Israel? Is Sarkozy a friend of Israel? Is their policy a consistent policy of support for Israel? The answer to all of these questions is affirmative and, as far as I'm concerned, that is what's important."
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