PARIS (AFP)---Here is a timeline of often stormy Franco-Israeli relations as President Nicolas Sarkozy prepares to visit Israel from June 22-24:
- June 3, 1967: two days before the beginning of the Six Day War between Arabs and Israelis, French president General Charles de Gaulle decrees an arms embargo, disrupting what had been strong military cooperation between France and Israel since the Jewish state was created.
- November 27, 1967: In a televised news conference, De Gaulle describes the Jewish people as "this elite people, sure of themselves and domineering".
- December 29, 1968: An Israeli raid on Beirut airport destroys planes belonging to a Lebanese company which is partially controlled by Air France.
France, which was operating only a partial embargo, suspends all arms deliveries to Israel.
- March 8, 1980: Israel deplores the recognition by president Valery Giscard d'Estaing of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and his consideration of the Palestine Liberation Organisation as a "qualified interlocutor" in peace negotiations.
- June 7, 1981: Paris condemns the destruction by the Israeli air force of the Iraqi French-built Osirak nuclear reactor at Tamuz during which a French technician was killed.
- March 3-5, 1982: Francois Mitterrand becomes the first French head of state to visit Israel. In a speech in the Knesset he defends the principle of a Palestinian state.
- May 2, 1989: Ties between France and Israel become frosty following an official visit to Paris by PLO leader Yasser Arafat, who is met by Mitterrand.
- October 22, 1996: During his official visit to Israel, president Jacques Chirac has a shouting match with Israeli bodyguards accused of hindering his visit to Jerusalem's Old City. He then gets a triumphant reception in the Palestinian territories.
- February 26, 2000: Prime minister Lionel Jospin is booed and pelted with stones during a visit to the Palestinian university of Bir-Zeit in the West Bank, two days after describing as "terrorist" attacks by Lebanon's Hezbollah against the Israeli army in southern Lebanon.
- July 5-6, 2001: Ariel Sharon, in power since March, meets president Chirac and prime minister Jospin during his first visit to France.
- May 25, 2003: Sharon refuses to meet French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin during his visit to Jerusalem, following the latter's decision to meet Arafat, who had been confined since December 2001 to his Ramallah headquarters.
- Feb 16-19, 2004: President Moshe Katsav becomes the first Israeli president to pay a state visit to France for 16 years.
- June 29, 2004: Foreign minister Michel Barnier calls for an end to Israeli "repression" following a meeting with Arafat in Ramallah. His comments are described by Israel as a "serious error".
- July 18, 2004: controversy flares after Sharon calls on France's Jews to emigrate immediately to Israel to avoid a spiral of anti-Semitism at home.
- March 14-15, 2005: Prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin visits Jerusalem, signalling a warming of ties. Sharon hails France's efforts in the fight against anti-Semitism.
- July 27, 2005: a meeting in Paris between Sharon and Chirac confirms the warming ties between the two countries, facilitated by the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
- Nov 19, 2006: Israel's ambassador to the United Nations accuses France of "throwing flowers to terrorists" by pushing for the adoption of a resolution in the General Assembly condemning Israeli action in the Gaza Strip.
- March 10-13, 2008: President Shimon Perez visits Paris, to attend the Paris book fair where Israel is the guest of honour. He is the first foreign leader to be granted a state visit since the election of Sarkozy in May 2007.