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Mon May 7, 2012, 08:56 AM

Israel's Netanyahu congratulates Hollande on victory

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday congratulated Francois Hollande on winning the French presidential vote, and expressed hope that the good ties between the countries would continue.

"I would like to congratulate Francois Hollande on his election as president of France," Netanyahu said at the beginning of a cabinet meeting. "The relations between Israel and France were always friendly, and will remain such.

"I look forward to a meeting with him to continue this important relationship -- important bilaterally and internationally."


France – Presidential Candidate Hollande: ‘A Trip to Israel Will be Part of My Plans’

Both presidential candidates in France who will face off in a second round of voting on Sunday said they will travel to Israel if they win.

“Yes, this trip will be part of my plans,” Socialist Francois Hollande, whom all polls predict a win, told French Jewish news website Tribunejuive.info which interviewed the two candidates. Hollande said that peace between Israel and the Palestinians should include “two neighboring and sovereign states each within its own legitimacy.”

“Even beyond the Israeli-Palestinian issue, we must be very firm with respect to Iran, whose nuclear program is a vital danger for Israel and for world peace,” he also said. He said he is “totally opposed” to the boycott of Israeli products which, he added, “is illegal and does not serve the cause of peace.” Extreme-left parties and the Greens, which are potential partners of the Socialists if Hollande wins, support such a boycott.


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