Hariri, Chirac Share Concern about Sharon's Election Victory
Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and French President Jacque Chirac said Wednesday they share the same concerns about Ariel Sharon's election victory in Israel, reported the Daily Star newspaper.
But Hariri said it was too soon to judge the hard-line Israeli leader’s policies.
Hariri arrived in Paris on Tuesday for a three-day official visit aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries, but officials said that no agreements were expected to be signed, said press reports.
Asked by reporters if he discussed with Chirac the possibility of an escalation of violence in the Middle East region, Hariri said “everybody wants peace and we all await the new Israeli government’s program.”
But he added that Sharon’s past was “very alarming.”
“We don’t know what will happen in the future,” he said, reiterating his desire for peace “as long as Israel wants a peace based on UN resolutions.”
"If he chooses a policy of force, that one's thing, and if he chooses a policy of peace, that's another," he was quoted by the paper as saying.
During an earlier meeting with his French counterpart, Lionel Jospin, Hariri said “we are open to peace and we want our children and Israeli children to live in peace in the future.” “We know that (Israel) is strong and has the best weapons.”
He said his visit to France was the beginning of promoting political and economic bilateral relations.
Asked about the French officials’ position on his recent economic moves, the paper quoted him as saying that he explained that the proceeds of privatization would reach $5 billion – Albawaba.com
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