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June 16, 2005
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Jacques Chirac invited Ariel Sharon to visit France. The French president went public Wednesday with a June 7 letter he wrote to the Israeli prime minister, in which Chirac wrote, “Our bilateral relations over the last three years have taken on a new lease of life as evidenced by the number of high-level visits. . .I would like to strengthen this partnership.” Israeli political sources said Sharon accepted the invitation and proposed three possible dates for the visit. Israeli-French relations have been rocky in light of Paris’ perceived pro-Palestinian tilt and mounting anti-Semitism in France, but Chirac has joined an international chorus in praise of Israel’s plan to quit the Gaza Strip this summer.

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