Report: Ex-French President Sarkozy to Visit Israel Next Week
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is scheduled to visit Israel early next week, Paris Match reported on Friday.
The leader of the newly formed center-right Republicans party will depart for Israel Sunday night for meetings on Monday, according to the report.
The former French president will meet with high-ranking Israeli officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In addition, Sarkozy will meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and his predecessor, Shimon Peres, who was president during Sarkozy’s term, which ended in May 2012.
Sarkozy is also set to visit a startup incubator and address the Herzliya Conference, according to the report.
Sources in Israel said it was still unclear if Sarkozy would meet with Palestinian officials in Ramallah as well.
Though Sarkozy vowed to bow out of politics in 2012 when he lost the elections to current President Francois Hollande, he has since made a political comeback becoming head of the center-right UMP party, which was recently re-branded as The Republicans.
Many say he is preparing to run for president again in 2017, since Hollande has become the most unpopular president in modern France.
In 2014, Sarkozy spoke out against the efforts in France to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state, saying he was opposed to the move in light of recent violence and in the absence of the peace process.
A previous French foreign minister had said Sarkozy was loathed by many in France because of his Jewish origins.