Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, met on Wednesday with the French President, Nicolas Sarkozi, during a visit to France. The two discussed the bilateral relations between Israel and France, the efforts to resume the stalled peace process and the Iranian file. Media outlets were kept out of the meeting, and a short statement on the meeting was released later on.

Netanyahu left after his meeting with Sarkozi without making any statement, but official sources at the French government said that a statement will be release soon.

Israeli sources reported that during the meeting, Sarkozi phoned the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and stressed on the importance of resuming the peace talks.

The sources added that Netanyahu asked Sarkozi to deliver a message to Syrian President, Bashar Asad, that Israel is willing to resume peace talks with Syria without preconditions.

French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, stated before the Netanyahu-Sarkozi meeting that the two leaders have serious political differences.

On Tuesday, Kouchner said that his country fears that Israel is not longer interested in the peace process.

Kouchner added that his country believes that settlements obstruct peace talks and that Israel should hat its settlement activities in the occupied territories.

On Wednesday morning, Netanyahu met with the French Finance Minister, Christine Lagarde, and held talks with her on the French-Israeli cooperation on energy and water desalination.