The French News site Arret Sur Images has reported that due to a technical mishap, a very private conversation between French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and American President Barack Obama was accidentally relayed to the press.
Apparently, the two heads-of-state moved to a private area after having been on the stage at the G20 conference. One or both of their wireless microphones were allegedly left on for almost three minutes.
The conversation is reported to have immediately started on the topic of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahou.
La conversation a ensuite dérivé sur Benyamin Nétanyahou, le Premier ministre israélien. Sûrs de ne pas être entendus, les deux présidents se sont lâchés. “Je ne peux plus le voir, c’est un menteur”, a lancé Sarkozy. “Tu en as marre de lui, mais moi, je dois traiter avec lui tous les jours !”, a rétorqué Obama..
Translated (my French being what it is):
The conversation next turned to Benyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister. Thinking they would not be heard, the two presidents talked freely. “I can’t stand him, he is a liar”, began Sarkozy. “You think that’s tough, I have to deal with him every day!”, answered Obama..
Obama’s pushing-away of Israel is nothing new. His 1967 lines speech was the first obvious hint that he would not be taking sides with one of America’s most-trusted allies.
Sarkozy’s handling of Israel is not much better. In October, yNet published a story that revealed the French PM’s thoughts on Israel as a state:
“It is silly to talk about a Jewish state,” Sarkozy said while referring to the Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state. “It would be like saying that this table is Catholic. There are two million Arabs in Israel.”
To be consistent, there are a large number of Arabs in France, perhaps we will soon hear that France is also no longer a French state.
There are reports that say that the press agreed to keep the comments private due to their secret nature making corroboration difficult. The last paragraph of the Arret Sur Images post does say that they received independent confirmation of the quotes and that the journalists did indeed agree to not report on them.
CDNews has also not yet been able to ascertain what comment or fact that Sarkozy feels Netanyahu falsified.
update: Reuters is confirming the report about the open-mic, comments and the agreement by representatives of the press to keep it quiet.
The conversation was not initially reported by the small group of journalists who overheard it because it was considered private and off-the-record. But the comments have since emerged on French websites and can be confirmed by Reuters.