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Sarkozy Starts Visit in Israel, Palestinian Territories
    2008-06-23 10:36:39     CRIENGLISH.com

 French President Nicolas Sarkozy has arrived at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport for a three-day visit in the region.

Sarkozy said on Sunday upon arrival that the creation of an independent Palestinian state is essential to Israel's security.

"An agreement is possible, tomorrow, and that agreement would allow the two peoples to live side-by-side in peace and security."

The trip is Sarkozy's first to Israel and the Palestinian territories since he became president in May 2007.

Israeli President Shimon Peres praised his French counterpart for visiting Israel during an official welcome ceremony at the airport.

Sarkozy is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President Shimon Peres and opposition head Binyamin Netanyahu.

The French president will also head to the West Bank city of Bethlehem to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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