The media spread inaccurate rumors about a French-initiated meeting between Israeli and Syrian leaders, Israel’s ambassador to France said.
Israeli and Syrian leaders will be part of a July summit in Paris. Media outlets reported Monday that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was trying to arrange a face-to-face meeting between the Syrian and Israeli heads of state on the sidelines of the Paris conference.
“Nobody proposed that, the media proposed it,” Daniel Shek told JTA Tuesday. “The only thing that is known is that both of them are invited to the inaugural summit for the Mediterranean Union.”
The ambassador also said that sharing the same room during the July meeting of about 40 nations should not pose a problem.
“They may find themselves in the same space, which is in itself a significant thing,” he said, adding that possible direct contact between Israeli and Syrian leaders visiting Paris depended on the right timing. Both nations are holding indirect peace negotiations through Turkey. “We were never opposed, and we were always in favor of finding ways to break barriers with Arab leaders,” said the ambassador.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.