(AA) – Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday said France had not asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to take part in an anti-terrorism march held in Paris on Sunday.
“No one at the Foreign Ministry received a message from France saying that Prime Minister Netanyahu is not welcome to participate in the solidarity march in Paris,” Lieberman said in an interview with Israeli army radio.
On Sunday, Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that French President Francois Hollande had conveyed a message to Netanyahu over the weekend asking him not to attend the Paris march.
According to the paper, the Israeli premier had acquiesced to the French request, but subsequently changed his mind after learning that Lieberman and Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett both intended to travel to Paris.
“We don’t know anything about such information from our representatives in Paris,” Lieberman said.
Twelve people were killed on Wednesday in an attack by masked gunmen at the Paris headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine known for printing offensive material, including cartoons lampooning Islam’s Prophet Muhammad in 2006 and 2012.
The two attack suspects, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi, were both killed on Friday in a warehouse in Dammartin-en-Goele, a small town north of Paris.
On the same day, four hostages and a gunman, said to be linked to the Kouachi brothers, were killed inside a kosher supermarket in Paris.
In response, Hollande called on world leaders and governments to join the people of France in condemning the attacks by holding a massive Sunday rally.
More than 55 world leaders marched in Paris on Sunday, along with hundreds of thousands of others, in a symbolic unity march meant to pay tribute to the victims of the spate of deadly attacks in Paris that killed a total of 17 people.