Alexa

Israeli minister arrives in France for talks

Israeli minister arrives in France for talks

Pro-Palestinian protesters disrupted Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's motorcade as he was entering the French Foreign Ministry on Tuesday for talks.
An Associated Press Television News cameraman on the scene said two demonstrators dressed as tourists blocked the street just as Lieberman's motorcade was pulling onto ministry grounds. Riot police on the scene were seen detaining two people and chasing others away from the ministry.
About 100 other protesters, some brandishing an enormous Palestinian flag, gathered on the verdant lawns of the Esplanade des Invalides, across the street from the ministry.
Lieberman, a right-wing politician whose anti-Arab statements have frayed diplomatic nerves, did not speak to the press ahead of his meeting with his French counterpart, Bernard Kouchner. Embassy officials said there would be no comments after the talks.
The Middle East peace process and the reopening of Gaza as well as Lebanon and Syria were expected to be at the top of Kouchner's list of discussion points with Lieberman.
Iran, seen by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a real threat to Israel and a top priority, also was expected to be high on the agenda.
Lieberman arrived in Paris from Rome, where he met with Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi on Monday.
In Italy, the first leg of his European tour, Lieberman stressed that the new Israeli government was still drawing up its foreign policy, which Netanyahu is expected to unveil before talks with President Barack Obama in mid-May.
During his two-day visit to France, Lieberman was expected to meet with a top aide to President Nicolas Sarkozy and representatives of the main Jewish organization here and also to visit a Holocaust memorial museum. None of the events was expected to be open to the press.
After France, he goes to Prague, where the Czechs hold the EU presidency, and to Berlin.