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French President Hollande wants deeper ties with Israel

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(JTA) — Francois Hollande, the new French president, said he wanted to deepen ties with Israel.

"The chief of state expressed his desire that France and Israel work to deepen our bilateral relations and develop existing French-Israel ties in all areas," said a statement from the Elysee, the presidential office, issued Wednesday after Hollande met with Yaakov Amidror, the national security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Nicolas Sarkozy, defeated by Hollande in elections last month, was seen as among the most pro-Israel leaders in Europe, especially regarding efforts to isolate Iran.

Richard Prasquier, the president of the CRIF, the Jewish umbrella body, stirred controversy when he said in an op-ed that while Hollande was sympathetic to Israel, he was worried his election would embolden the anti-Israel left.

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