Sarkozy to Netanyahu: ‘Get rid’ of Lieberman

JERUSALEM (JTA) — French President Nicolas Sarkozy told Israel’s prime minister to "get rid" of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, an Israeli news channel reported.

Sarkozy at a June 24 meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli leader should fire Lieberman and reinstate opposition leader Tzipi Livni to the position.

"I have always accepted Israeli foreign ministers, and I loved to have Tzipi Livni here at the Elysee, but with him [Lieberman] I can’t," Sarkozy said at the meeting, Channel 2 reported Monday, punctuating his statement with a disparaging hand gesture.

Sarkozy made his statement in front of three other Israeli officials.

"We expect every political institution in Israel to condemn this blatant intervention of a foreign country in our private affairs, no matter what its political stance," the Foreign Ministry responded Monday evening.

Netanyahu reportedly rose to Lieberman’s defense during his meeting with Sarkozy.

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