Today French Socialist Segolene Royal met with French troops taking part in the UNIFIL mission in southern Lebanon. In a news conference Royal said that the release of two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah last summer is "absolutely vital". She also called on Israel to stop violating Lebanese airspace with their continuing intelligence gathering overflights. Over the past several month French troops have come within moments of firing on Israeli aircraft. Israel has come under increasing pressure from France and the UN to stop these flights, which many believe violate the cease-fire arrangement. Like her comments yesterday, Royal is treading very carefully in the murky waters of foreign policy, and it shall have to be seen whether or not she takes a harsher stance during her visit with Israeli and Palestinian leaders. She has already gained some political points for just going to Lebanon at this rather tumultuous time, declaring that she wished to "stay at the Lebanese people's side."
Technorati tags: Ségolène Royal, Segolene Royal, politics, politique, présidentielle, actualité, news, France, Lebanon, Israel, Middle East