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FACTDROP: Journalists Overhear Private Exchange Between Obama and Sarkozy, Report Says
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11/08/2011

Journalists Overhear Private Exchange Between Obama and Sarkozy, Report Says


Πηγή: NYT
By MARK LANDLER
Nov 7 2011

It marks another chapter in the close, if occasionally awkward, relationship between President Obama and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France. After the two leaders appeared together at a news conference during a G20 summit meeting in Cannes last Thursday, they retired to a room for what they thought was a private conversation.

Big mistake: According to a report posted Monday on the French Web site Arret sur Images, the exchange between Mr. Obama and Mr. Sarkozy was picked up by open microphones and overheard by half a dozen French journalists, who were still wearing headsets they had put on to hear simultaneous translation of Mr. Obama’s public remarks.

Mr. Obama, the Web site said, began by chiding Mr. Sarkozy for not warning him that France would vote to admit the Palestinians into UNESCO, a step the United States opposed. From there, the two men began discussing the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I cannot stand him,” Mr. Sarkozy was quoted as saying. “He is a liar.”

Mr. Obama is reported to have replied, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!”

He then urged Mr. Sarkozy to try to persuade the Palestinian Authority to go easy in its campaign for membership in the United Nations.

The White House did not comment on the exchange, which the Web site said was not widely reported in France because the journalists who overheard it agreed to a request by Elysee Palace not to publish remarks that could embarrass the two leaders.


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