France, Israel strengthen bilateral relations amid protest

08:58, April 16, 2010      

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy (R) shakes hands with visiting Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Elysee Palace, Paris, capital of France, April 15, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)

Visiting Israeli President Shimon Peres Thursday discussed with French President Nicolas Sarkozy about bilateral relations alongside public protests against the inauguration a Promenade named after Israeli leader Ben Gurion in Paris.

Middle East peace, potential sanction against Iran and future bilateral cooperation addressing upcoming challenges are their major topics, Sarkozy and Peres said at the joint press conference after a working lunch in the Elysee Palace.

The two leaders reaffirmed the urgency and importance to re- launch the halted peace talk between Israel and Palestine.

Sarkozy said the only way to ease conflicts between the two sides would be to get the peace process back on track, warning that continuing conflict would impact on everyone because it fed the influence of extremists on both sides and led to incitement and terror.

Peres conceded that there had been difficulties of confidence between the concerned sides, but emphasized that the effort to build on the bridge was worth trying.

"There are good chance to resume negotiation ... there remains hope to renew the bridge eventually," Peres said.

During the Wednesday meeting with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, Peres said Israel was ready to accept the principle of a two-state solution.

As to Iran nuclear issue, the two presidents concrete their common status in front of reporters, saying a new round of sanction was "very much on the table."

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