Sarkozy’s U.S. visit seen as a hit


Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to the United States transformed France’s U.S. image, a French Jewish leader said.

Richard Prasquier, the head of the CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish organizations, accompanied the French president on his visit. He said Sarkozy was well received by government and Jewish community leaders.

Sarkozy met with officials from the American Jewish Committee and received its Light unto the Nations award. Sarkozy told the AJC that he is an ally of Israel, but added this does not mean that he backs every decision made by its government.

Prasquier told JTA that the controversial subject of the raw footage of the Gaza Strip shooting of Palestinian youngster Mohamed Al-Dura in September 2000, and the subsequent stonewalling by French television over the years, was not brought up during Sarkozy’s visit.

The Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations had sent the French president a letter urging him to pressure French public television officials to make the raw footage public, as ordered by a French appeals court in October.


Prasquier said France may participate in the Middle East summit scheduled for Annapolis at the end of this month.

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