Rouhani-Hollande lunch scrapped after French insistence on serving wineArchive
IRAN’S President Hassan Rouhani had been due to eat lunch with French President Francois Hollande in an upmarket restaurant on Thursday, but negotiations broke down after the Iranians requested a halal, alcohol-free meal.
French officials insisted on serving traditional local food and wine, saying making a meal “Iran friendly” went against their values.
The Elysee Palace suggested the heads of state share breakfast instead, but this was rejected as “too cheap”.
An official told a French radio station: “The leaders have missed out on a great opportunity to meet in the relaxed environment of a meal.”
His visit to Italy went much more smoothly as officials kept alcohol off the menu at state dinners and even covered up ancient nude statues in Rome as they signed deals worth 12 billion pounds.
By arrangement with The Times of India
Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2016