France for frank relations with the US

30.07.02 @ 09:38

  1. By Lisbeth Kirk
  2. Lisbeth email

The French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin calls in an interview published by Le Monde for frank relations with the US. "We Europeans, share one conviction: security policy alone does not lead to a new peaceful and stable new world order," says de Villepin in the interview, which is one of the first given after the French elections brought to power a foreign minister of the same political colour as the president.

Dialogue instead of military action

Mr Villepin says in the interview that the threats are today not the forces but rather the absence of basic rules, sufficiently responsible for the international community.

"It is important for us to have a relation of confidence, frank, abrupt if it has to be, with the United states," the foreign minister states in the interview, confirming that the French attitude towards the US is still hostile and critical.

One example of division appears to be on American policies towards Iraq, to which the British prime minister has promised support. However, in this case, the French favour dialogue instead of military action.

Building a global vision of the European future

The new French government also seeks to revitalise the traditional French-German alliance to run European policies. The interview published on the eve of the French-German 40th years anniversary summit in Schwerin confirms the French aim to sign a new revised pact with the Germans.

De Villepin mentions a number of ideas, one of these to elect a president of the European Council for a period of three or four years to balance the powers of the European Union in a new way with a reinforced European Commission. He warns of a European theological debate on a federal or intergovernmental models. One should be inventive and instead start by building a global vision of the European future, according to Mr de Villepin.

European agricultural policies should follow the planned schedule and be reformed by 2006 and in the disputes over the future of the Kaliningrad, the French foreign minister recommends a solution that will not humiliate the Russians.