May 23, 2003

Powell in Paris Certainly no

Powell in Paris

Certainly no effusive warmth but some tepid patching up of Franco-American relations continues (stress on tepid).

"Mr. Powell began his remarks, made in the same room where the Marquis de Lafayette implored Marie Antoinette to help the revolutionary aspirations of the fledgling United States, by praising the long alliance between the two countries.

"What will never change is that there is this tie between the United States and France, a tie that has been created by shared values, created by working with each other in times of war and by being part of a great alliance," he told reporters at the French American Press Club.

In meetings last week with senior officials in Russia and Germany, two other countries that opposed the war in Iraq, Mr. Powell also made a point of noting the differences over Iraq. But his tone today seemed harder, his determination to hold the French accountable for their positions more firm. Asked if the United States intended to punish the French, Mr. Powell, who once said the French would face consequences for their opposition to the war, said no.

"But," he continued, "you take note of those who disagree with you and you try to find out why and if it is appropriate to draw some conclusions. And consequences follow those conclusions."

Of course, all this would have been much uglier if the French hadn't voted for this resolution.

Anyway, smile for the cameras guys!

UPDATE: The WaPo digs deeper and provides this interesting nugget:

"In another sign that France was trying to mend the relationship, President Jacques Chirac telephoned President Bush at the White House today, and the two discussed the agenda for the upcoming summit.

They talked about measures to improve the global economy, and the continuing threat of international terrorism, according to Chirac's spokeswoman, who described the two presidents' cooperation as "excellent."

It was Chirac's second call to Bush since the fallout over Iraq. The two will meet face to face at the G-8 meeting for the first time since the conflict."

Posted by Gregory at May 23, 2003 09:30 AM
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