• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Sarkozy slips into Geneva for charity gala

Malcolm Curtis · 25 Jan 2013, 12:04

Published: 25 Jan 2013 12:04 GMT+01:00

Sarkozy arrived in the Swiss city earlier in the day in a private jet without his wife, Carla Bruni, but accompanied by armed guards, the Tribune de Genève reported.

The politician, who was voted out of office last year, was the guest of honour at the evening event held at the Hotel President Wilson, a five-star luxury hotel overlooking Lake Geneva.

Sarkozy, whose maternal grandfather was a Greek Jew who converted to Catholicism, met with Dan Jillerman, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, the Tribune said.

He also reportedly met with Charles Tamman, owner and general manager of the President Wilson, as well as Lily Safra, the widow of billionaire Jewish banker Edmond Safra.

The press was excluded from the event, which was restricted to invited guests and members of Keren Haysod.
 
Sarkozy formally announced that he would not be talking to the press, the Tribune reported.

His visit was unannounced apparently to avoid any hint of trouble.

For its Geneva annual gala in February 2011, Keren Hayesod was forced to change plans after word got out that its guest of honour and keynote speaker was to be former US president George W. Bush.

Human rights activists filed criminal complaints in Geneva against Bush for alleged torture.

The former president ended up cancelling his appearance amid security concerns.

Swiss authorities were being pressured to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he set foot on Swiss soil.

The complaints were linked to the alleged mistreatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, the US naval base in Cuba where captives from Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries were detained as part of Bush’s “war on terror”.
 

Malcolm Curtis (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Summer in France: The top ten beaches
Photo: Gomezdegomera/Flickr

How many have you been to?

France braces for busiest day of traffic all summer
Photo: AFP

Thinking of driving this weekend? The French are being advised to think twice.

Opinion
'France has problems but it's not on brink of civil war'
A French police officer stands in front of a Muslim prayer room after it was destroyed by a fire, suspected to be arson, in Ajaccio.. Photo: AFP

While certain French politicians and security chiefs have openly talked of the nightmare prospect of civil war in France, one expert tells The Local the country is too resolute to go down that path.

Ten hidden gems in France you should visit this summer
Photo: Erik Harström/Flickr

Looking for holiday ideas this summer?

What's on: Ten cool things to do in France in August 2016
Photo: AFP

August is almost here - and we've got you covered for events.

Paris in August: Should you stay or should you go now?
Photo: AFP

When it comes to August in Paris, you're either a stayer or a goer. But which is the best choice?

French PM: 'France needs new relationship with Islam'
Photo: AFP

As France struggles to get to grips with an increasing number of terror attacks the French PM says the country needs a new relationship with Islam.

France's Muslims urged to attend mass in solidarity
Photo: AFP

A leading Muslim group in France has called on its community to attend a church mass this Sunday to show solidarity with Christians after the recent jihadist killing of a priest.

Hopes hit as France reports 'disappointing' zero growth
Photo: AFP

Hopes of small economic growth in France were hit on Friday when the latest GDP figures were announced.

Air France strike affects 30,000 passengers each day
Photo: AFP

The week-long Air France cabin crew strike continued on Friday with some 30,000 passengers hit by cancellations each day.

Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Travel
Summer in France: The top ten beaches
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
France: A timeline of terror since the Charlie Hebdo attack
A timeline of terror in France since Charlie Hebdo
Culture
Thirteen free and easy ways to learn French
Culture
32 mistakes foreigners make when they arrive in France
National
Here are the worst scams to avoid whilst driving in France
Analysis & Opinion
Isis can simply be a conduit for the violent desires of psychopaths
Features
Six outdoor bars in Paris you simply must visit
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Culture
The open-air Villette cinema has been cancelled over security fears
Culture
Henri Rousseau exhibition proves huge hit in Paris
National
Frenchman caught trying to sell Nice massacre souvenirs online
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
OPEN NOW: Here's why you should head to the Paris Plages
Culture
What's on in France: Still plenty to see and do in July
Lifestyle
Treasures of Versailles to go on display in Australia
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
National
Nice attack: What we know so far
National
Nice attacker: Body-building, drug-taking, violent flirt
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
IN IMAGES: Drawings in tribute to Nice attack victims
Society
Promenade des Anglais: The iconic heart of the French Riviera
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
France faces more questions after latest deadly attack
National
Why is France the target of choice for jihadist attacks?
National
Nice truck attack: 'Bodies went flying like bowling pins'
Nice attack: Families of missing make pleas on Twitter
2,758
jobs available