Livni: Sarkozy understands threat to Israel


PARIS (JTA) — France understands the threat Israel faces, Tzipi Livni said after meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"President Sarkozy knows the situation well, and the complexities in our region. He understands the nature of the threat to which Israel is confronted," Israel’s foreign minister told journalists as she left the Elysee Palace in Paris on Thursday evening.

In response to questions about an eventual cease-fire, Livni said, "The decision that the operation has met its objectives will be made according to daily evaluations." Livni also told reporters that the "humanitarian situation in Gaza is exactly how it should be."

"There is an impression that Israel does not want a cease-fire. That is not the issue," Livni said in an interview on French television. "Our ability to enter into a cease-fire is linked to a halt by Hamas of rocket attacks on our Israeli citizens."

Sarkozy plans to visit Israel on Jan. 5, after stopping in Egypt and in Ramallah to speak with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. On Tuesday he will fly to Syria to encourage Syrian President Bashar Assad to push Hamas toward a cease-fire.

A presidential spokesperson told the French daily Le Monde that Sarkozy is stopping in Egypt in hopes of encouraging its president, Hosni Mubarak, to resume its mediation role between Israel and Hamas. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner will also visit Israel with Swedish and Czech foreign ministers on Jan. 5.

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