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November 16, 2004

French-American Relations--Chirac Hostility to the Bush Administration

It is important for anyone who blames Bush for poor relations with France to remember not only France's past support for Saddam Hussein and profit from dealings with him, but also the harsh words France has for us. From the London Times

M Chirac, speaking to British journalists, including The Times, soon after General Powell’s announcement, revealed that he had urged Mr Blair to demand the relaunch of the Middle East peace process in return for backing the war.

"Well, Britain gave its support but I did not see anything in return. I’m not sure it is in the nature of our American friends at the moment to return favours systematically."

In other remarks that will sting the Bush Administration, he again outlined his vision of a "multipolar" world in which a
united Europe would be equal with the US, and mocked Donald
Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, for his division of Europe into old and new.

M Chirac said that there would be no division between Britain and France.

"It is like that nice guy in America " what’s his name again? " who spoke about ‘old Europe’. It has no sense. It’s a lack of culture to imagine that. Imagining that there can be division between the British and French vision of Europe is as absurd as imagining that we are building Europe against the United States."

Surely it is well past time to stop thinking of France as being any more our ally (or enemy) than Russia is.

Posted by erasmuse at November 16, 2004 08:54 AM

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