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Gilad Shalit meets Nicolas Sarkozy at Elysee Palace in Paris France: President also met Noam Shalit
A former Israeli prisoner of war, Gilad Shalit, made a rare public appearance and met French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Shalit, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of Hamas, also holds French citizenship. Gilad didn't any questions from the media, but his father, who is now seeking political office, answered on his behalf. Noam Shalit said, "We're very happy to be here at the Elysee. We thank Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of the republic, and the Elysee team for their efforts and the engagement of the president, for all the efforts that were made. We are very touched." Shalit was released from the Gaza Strip in October 2011 in exchange for roughly 1000 Palestinian prisoners. Nicholas Sarkozy, who faces presidential elections in April this year, was reportedly unsatisfied that French efforts to secure Shalit's release were not sufficiently recognized during his homecoming celebrations. Commentators have speculated that was why President Sarkozy told US President Barack Obama that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was "a liar."