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French Official Blasts U.S., Allies
AP | 3/17/03 | PAMELA SAMPSON

Posted on 03/17/2003 1:03:20 PM PST by kattracks

PARIS, Mar 17, 2003 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- France lashed out at the United States, Britain and Spain on Monday for following a path toward military conflict with Iraq.

Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said the three nations had decided to abandon diplomacy at the United Nations because a large majority of the Security Council oppose their call for war against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"Despite the will clearly expressed by the international community, the United States, Britain and Spain underlined today their determination to resort to force," de Villepin said in a statement. France "regrets a decision that is not justified today and that risks serious consequences for the region and the world."

His remarks followed harsh criticism from the United States and Britain earlier in the day.

U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte and British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock singled out France for threatening to veto a proposed resolution that would have given Iraq an ultimatum to disarm by Monday or face military action.

Last week, President Jacques Chirac said France would use its veto to kill the resolution if it came up for a vote and won the nine votes needed for passage. France staunchly supports the work of U.N. weapons inspectors charged with overseeing the disarmament of Iraq and any nuclear, biological or chemical weapons it may possess.

Weeks of intense diplomacy and pressure from the Bush administration failed to convince a majority of the council's 15 members that the time for war had come. The resolution would have authorized war anytime after Monday unless Iraq proved before then that it had disarmed.

De Villepin said he was still evaluating the situation to determine whether to withdraw diplomatic personnel from the region. On Sunday, however, diplomats in Baghdad and Paris said the French mission in Iraq would evacuate the country if U.N. weapons inspectors started pulling out.

In Moscow, meanwhile, the Kremlin press service said Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chirac spoke by telephone and "underlined the necessity of continuing, despite the serious worsening of circumstances, the political-diplomatic efforts in the framework of the United Nations." Russia and Germany have strongly aligned themselves with the French stance for peaceful disarmament of Iraq.

Earlier Monday, de Villepin also told reporters that despite the disagreement over Iraq, France remains an "ally" and "a friend" of the United States and that it would offer assistance after a war.

"We will respond to the demands of our allies," he said. De Villepin added that France would continue to allow U.S. military aircraft to fly through French airspace.

France had also said it was willing to accept a 30-day deadline for Iraq to disarm, provided the move was endorsed by the chief U.N. weapons inspectors. But U.S. officials have dismissed the idea as a nonstarter.

By PAMELA SAMPSON Associated Press Writer



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
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To: kattracks
I would like everyone to know, I no longer french kiss my wife!!! In fact I don't french kiss anything anymore!!! I'm mad as hell, oh & by the way, I don't make love with my face anymore either... ( I'm too old ) However when I kiss my wife from now on, It's a Spanish kiss...


Madmax
51 posted on 03/17/2003 1:40:41 PM PST by maxamillion
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To: kattracks
I hope Luxembourg invades France; it would serve the French right.
52 posted on 03/17/2003 1:41:47 PM PST by JohnMac
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To: sheik yerbouty
Francopoofter"!


That's what the Italians I work with call them.
53 posted on 03/17/2003 1:44:26 PM PST by Bulldogs22
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To: kattracks
What worries me today is that we don’t have allies anymore who will come to our aid. The rest of the world thinks the invasion of Iraq has nothing to do with 9/11, who knows why they think that, but that is a separate issue. When we asked for their help in Afghanistan support was all but universal. My new worry is that since they view the invasion as unnecessary they won’t be very sympathetic when terror results. Any thoughts?
54 posted on 03/17/2003 2:02:47 PM PST by Theyknow
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To: jws3sticks
Notice that the woman next to the man is applauding the Nazis.
55 posted on 03/17/2003 2:05:55 PM PST by Grand Old Partisan
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To: kattracks
I just ate Chili and I got something to blast the froggies with right now!
56 posted on 03/17/2003 2:20:04 PM PST by packrat35 (reality is for people who can't face science fiction)
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To: Catspaw
France said something? Oh I thought it was just the wind blowing
57 posted on 03/17/2003 2:34:57 PM PST by Enemy Of The State (Beware the lollipop of mediocrity... lick it once and you suck forever)
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