Speech Reveals American Sarkozy

In his first major foreign policy address, President Nicolas Sarkozy's stances broke ground with France's traditional diplomacy and edged closer to that of American neo-cons, editorials and observers agreed.

Speech Reveals American Sarkozy
In his first major foreign policy address, President Nicolas Sarkozy's stances broke ground with France's traditional diplomacy and edged closer to that of American neo-cons, editorials and observers agreed.

"French diplomacy takes on a new tone with Sarkozy" the authoritative Le Monde daily wrote on Tuesday, August 28.

In the first speech on foreign policy since he assumed office in May, Sarkozy warned Monday, August 27, that Iran's nuclear program was the most serious crisis facing the world today.

"A nuclear-armed Iran is for me unacceptable," he told French ambassadors from 180 countries.

Sarkozy said that a diplomatic push to convince Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions was the only way of avoiding a "catastrophic alternative: an Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran."

An official in the Iranian Embassy in Paris saw a major change of tone in the speech.

"We are obviously seeing a radical change in French foreign policy," he told IslamOnline.net, requesting anonymity.

"He [Sarkozy] reminded me of the Israeli Zionist majority which pushes for striking Iran," he added.

"Tehran will examine the new French position very carefully."


Sarkozy avoiding a clash between Islam and the West is the "first challenge" facing French diplomacy in the 21st century.

He said security agencies in Western governments must work in "total cooperation" to combat terrorism.

Sarkozy softened his landmark opposition to Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

"France will not oppose new chapters of negotiations between the union and Turkey being opened in the months and years to come."

Sarkozy avoided the tough talk he has used in the past when addressing the issue, previously declaring that Turkey did not have a place in the 27-nation bloc.

He also did not use the term "privileged partner" to describe Turkey's relationship with the EU.

Washington has always advocated the membership of Muslim-majority but secular Turkey in the EU.

In a major break from Chirac, Sarkozy took a swipe at heavyweights Russia and China.

He said Moscow was imposing itself on the international scene by using its oil and gas wealth with "brutality" in a manner unbecoming of a "great power."

"China, which is engaged in the most impressive renaissance in the history of humanity, is transforming its insatiable quest for raw materials into a strategy of domination, in particular in Africa."

The leftwing Liberation said the president had gone on the offensive with his address.

"The president in this area also marked a sort of break" with Chirac, it noted.

"It was mostly in the choice of words, using rather harsh qualifiers on Russia and China and a shock formula on the Iranian nuclear issue."

The address drew criticism from opposition Socialist Jean-Luc Melenchon who accused Sarkozy of "aligning France with the world view upheld by President (George W.) Bush and American neo-conservatives."

The Le Figaro agreed.

"What is new is that France no longer positions itself as a rival to the United States," it wrote.

"She is no longer caught in the ill-suited role of being a rallying point for all those who oppose America."

Israel Friend

Sarkozy asserted that he was a "friend of Israel."

"I have the reputation of being a friend of Israel, and it's true. I will never compromise on Israel's security," he told France's ambassadors to world countries.

He saw no contradiction between this France's history of close ties with the Arab world.

Sarkozy had defended the Israeli offensive on Lebanon last summer, which killed up to 1,200 civilians and ruined the Arab country's hard-won infrastructure.

His election has been cheered by Israeli officials, politicians and opposition leaders.

Sarkozy insisted Monday that the many Arab leaders who have visited him since his election know they can count on his friendship.

He held out the prospect of improved relations with Syria if it agrees to help break the current political crisis in Lebanon, France's close ally in the Middle East.

On the Palestinian issue, Sarkozy threatened that France would not allow a "Hamastan" to be created in the Palestinian territories after the takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas.

"We cannot resign ourselves to this outcome," said Sarkozy.

The US has being spearheading an international campaign to isolate the Gaza Strip and shower money and aid on the West Bank to empower President Mahmoud Abbas in his power-struggle with rival Hamas.

Many observers believe Sarkozy is trying to fill the vacuum left by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Washington's main European ally.

Following his election, Le Liberation printed a caricature depicting Bush as a dog asking Sarkozy, also given a dog figure, to come and take Blair's place.

Rivals accuse Sarkozy, believed to share Bush's worldview, of wanting to move France into Washington's orbit.

His affection for the US and unabashed praise of US society, its dynamism and meritocracy has earned him the nickname "Sarko the American."

Last Mod: 29 Ağustos 2007, 10:10
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