French President Francois Hollande will address the Knesset when he visits Israel November 18, backtracking on previous plans to forgo a speech to the Israeli parliament, the office of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein announced Sunday.
“It is a great honor for the Israeli Knesset to host the president of France, a country that is one of Israel’s better friends,” Edelstein said in a statement. “I am pleased and proud that President Hollande decided to honor the Knesset and MKs, to speak to the people of Israel from the Knesset podium, the bastion of Israeli democracy, and I believe that this visit will be significant for both countries.”
While Edelstein was quick to issue Hollande a warm welcome, it was only last week Edelstein fumed over Hollande’s plans to give a public speech at an Israeli university rather than at the Knesset. He reportedly told French authorities that he was canceling a meeting with Hollande scheduled to take place in the Knesset, and that in the future visiting French ministers would not be invited to official Knesset events or meetings with MKs.
More warm greetings could be in store for Hollande when he comes to Israel, after France’s role in delaying a deal over the weekend between Iran and world powers that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu staunchly opposed.