Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama have been caught in a potentially embarrassing situation after they were allegedly overheard commenting about Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Allegedly, Sarkozy described Netanyahu as a liar before Obama – again, allegedly – said “I have to deal with him every day”. The exchange also allegedly included Obama gently scolding Sarkozy for not warning him that France would vote in favour of the Palestinians’ application to join UNESCO.
French website Arret sur Images initially reported the alleged conversation (link is in French), which was subsequently backed up by a Reuters reporter. It’s further alleged that some reporters had unofficially agreed not to report the apparent gaffe because of the sensitive nature of the comments.
The alleged conversation isn’t likely to be hugely problematic for Sarkozy, but Obama – despite being the less vehement of the two men – could face some heat at home, where any perceived criticism of Israel can cause significant bad press. Netanyahu’s office has so far not responded to the conversation.