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Israeli envoy plans for new French leader

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France’s next president and ministers must understand the importance of relations with Israel, Israel’s ambassador to France told JTA.

“It is important to make sure that the next
president, whoever he or she will be, the new foreign minister and the top
French bureaucracy will continue to consider the improvement of relations
between our two countries on all levels as a French interest, as it is today,”
Daniel Shek said Monday.

On Sunday, right-wing candidate Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist candidate Segolene Royal advanced from the first round of French presidential elections to a May 6 runoff. The Jewish community favors Sarkozy, of the incumbent party, as pro-Israel and aware of security issues, while Royal drew fire for meeting with Hezbollah lawmakers and remaining silent while they heaped invective on Israel during a Mideast tour in December.

Shek said he and his colleagues will have to act fast. “We’ll have a
new president, a new Parliament, a new government in this country, and
obviously we’ll have to move quickly to establish working relations and to ensure that Israeli political leadership gets to know the new top leadership in
France,” he said.

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