France 'uses all it strength' to fight antisemitism, Hollande tells Knesset

Francoise Hollande spoke at the Knesset on Monday evening (Photo: Jean-Marc Ayrault)

Francoise Hollande spoke at the Knesset on Monday evening (Photo: Jean-Marc Ayrault)

French President François Hollande has told Israeli politicians that France "uses all its strength combating antisemitism".

In a speech to the Knesset today, the French leader also expressed concern over Iran’s nuclear programme and reiterated his support for a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Mr Hollande, who is on a visit to Israel, told Knesset members that his country was at the forefront of fighting anti-Jewish hatred.

According to i24news, he said: “France would not be France if it had not been the first country to recognise the Jews as being citizens."

He also urged that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas should “recognise the connection between the Jews and the land of Israel.

“France has always been on the side of Israel – asserting its right to exist.”

But he added: “A negotiated deal is needed so that the Israeli state and the Palestinian state both will have Jerusalem as their capital.”

On Iran, President Hollande said he “would maintain sanctions until we make sure Iran has given up on its nuclear programme”.

But he criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy on settlements. He said: “The construction in the settlements must stop”.

Last updated: 5:46pm, November 18 2013