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Sharon's clarification

Last updated: 2004-07-29

Ariel Sharon

Ariel Sharon

France has welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's praise for the country's efforts to curb anti-Semitism.

A French Foreign Ministry spokesman says his country notes "with satisfaction" Mr. Sharon's comments, which eased recent strains in ties between the two nations.

Mr. Sharon said he very much appreciates French President Jacques Chirac's stand against anti-Semitism, hoping it will be an example to all countries.

Mr. Sharon enraged the French government last week when he called on French Jews to flee to Israel as soon as possible to escape what he called the "wildest anti-Semitism" in France. Mr. Chirac later said the Israeli leader is not welcome in France until he explains his remarks.

Mr. Sharon clarified his comments saying Jews should not move to Israel out of fear, but because it is their homeland.

Story supplied by: VOAnews