Tag Archives: France

Sarkozy-Brown Announce African Education Venture

President Nicola Sarkzoy and Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a joint British/French fund to improve education for over 16 million children in Africa by 2012. The two leaders discussed a range of topics including consruction of more nuclear facilities in Britain by the French utility company, EDF and a conference for non-nuclear nations interested in developing civilian atomic programs. Their meeting may well mark the birth of a new French/British axis in the world. Sakozy addressed Parliament and outlined ways in which the two nations could become a force for peace in the world. He also promised to reform the Agricultural Program which has been a major British concern for years.

The French president also urged the two nations to work with America and persuade that nation to become more environmentally pro-active. Sarkozy’s talk deeply impressed many members of Parliament and pointed the way to a new era of cooperation between the nations.

The world is witnessing the emergence of new power configurations such as a British-French alliance as well as France’s alliance with Germany. One can expect in the coming years these nations will become an unoffiical bloc exerting pressure on the United States. Senator McCain has already indicated if he is elected president there will be a new American desire to seek cooperation with the world and abandon the unilateral philosophy of George Bush who wants to be the decider-in-chief.

“Black Widow” Of Al Qaeda Leader Warns France

Fatiha Meijita, widow of the al-Qaeda leader, Karim Meijita, warned France that it would be punished for “its fidelity to the United States.” Her dead husband supposedly masterminded the Moroccan tragedy of September 11, 2004 which resulted in the killing of nearly 200 people. She argued the independent policy of former French President Chirac has been replaced by President Sarkozy’s attempt to closely ally his nation with George Bush policies. “France will not longer be set apart,” she warned, “nor protected.”

This is one of many warnings from al-Qaeda leaders to European nations whose troops are fighting in Afghanistan. To what extend anyone should take seriously these dire predictions is open to question. There is little evidence al-Qaeda is in a position to inflict serious harm on the French nation.

President Sarkozy Snows On Turkey’s Parade

The French have a tradition in which a nation is invited to devote a six month period in which cultural aspects of their society are presented to the French public, a “country season” as it is commonly termed. The Turkish government in 2006 arranged with France to have 2008 be the year in which a “Turkish season” would display Turkish fashions, literary works, culinary expositions and many other facets of Turkish culture to the people of France. They have now been informed the season will never get going because Turkey has been bumped from the parade. The denial comes on the heels of President Sarkozy’s efforts to block Turkish entry into the European Union. According to a Turkish diplomat, “We think the real reason behind France’s request to postpone the Turkish season is the fact that it just comes ahead of Euro elections” to the European Parliament. Last year, the season featured Armenia, a nation with whom Turkey has poor relations.

It becomes increasingly evident that President Sarkozy is determined to block Turkey’s entry into the European Union. This latest manifestation of hostility was bound to infuriate the Turkish government and people, particularly since Turkey was scheduled to present its culture the year after Armenia had the opportunity. It is a slap in the face that accomplishes little except to widen differences between a Muslim nation which attempts to serve as a bridge between the world and more fundamentalist groups in Arab nations. Sarkozy may feel pleased at his inept attempt at diplomacy, but Europe and the world will suffer.

Gordon Brown And Sarkozy Clash Over Europe’s Future

Prime Minister Gordon Brown of England clashed with French President Sarkozy over future directions of Europe. Brown was able to persuade European Union leaders to agree there would not be any changes in direction or structure “for the forseeable future.” Sarkozy wants to create a group of “wise men” who would examine the European Union in order to develop new strategies which would compel its members to more closely integrate their economies and political structures within the framework of a redeveloped European Union. He believes the time has been reached in the history of European development for a “new European dream” which entails integrated armed forces, integrated foreign policy, and more completely integrated political systems. The French president also differs with Brown over the issue of allowing Turkey to become a member of the EU, an action he opposes while Brown is more willing to consider the possibility.

As the European Union matures, it becomes more cognizant of how further economic, political, and military integration can enhance its power and prestige in the world. Sarkozoy is leaning in that direction while Brown, like many other European leaders, is not yet prepared to consider such changes. Perhaps, in the short term, Brown’s view will be accepted, but in the long term there is a strong likelihood the Sarkozy “European dream” might eventually become a reality.

Sarkozy Backs Palestinian State And Israel’s Security

French President Nicolas Sarkozy while visiting Algeria came out strongly for the creation of an independent Palestinian state. “it is from a feeling of injustice,’ said Sarkozy, “that the terrorists derive their greatest strengths. Depriving the Palestinians of a nation is an injustice that France will not accept.” He also made clear in his talk with Algerian students ‘that Israel has a right to live in security” and failure to allow that to occur might also be construed as an injustice. While in Algeria, the French president signed a nuclear cooperation accord with Algeria and urged peaceful sharing of nuclear energy between Europe and Muslim nations. Sarkozy also told them Paris would host a conference on December 17 to raise money for the Palestinians. throughout his three day visit, Sarkozy has made clear that French colonial rule of Algeria was wrong and as he put it, “I have not come to deny the past. But, I have come to say that the future is more important.” Several times in his speech, the French leader made clear his opposition to racism, to anti-semitism and to anti-Muslim ideas.

President Sarkozy is doing an important thing by openly speaking of the need for Israel to have security as a nation while also ensuring that Palestine is an independent nation. Those who preach anti-Muslim feeling are no different from those who support anti-semitism.

Sarkozy Says NUclear Weapon Iran Is Unacceptable!

President Nicholas Sarkozy addressing the American Jewish Congress reiterated his stand against allowing Iran to possess an atomic bomb, but he also indicated “I believe that Arab countries including Iran have a right to civilian nuclear power.” The French president denounced anti-Semitism in France and emphasized that the existence of Israel as a Jewish state is “non-negotiable.” Sarkozy said Muslims in France enjoy complete religious freedom and hoped that Muslim nations would reciprocate by providing such protection to those who are not of the Muslim faith. Meanwhile, Premier Prodi visiting in Saudi Arabia warned against taking military action against Iran arguing, “in addition to not solving the problem, it would open new destablizing scenarios in the whole region.”

IN his desire to ingratiate himself with the American Jewish community, President Sarkozy made a blunder when he said Israel was a Jewish state. About 15% of the Israeli population is Muslim and they even elect representatives to parliament.

Child Adoption Scandal Rocks France And Chad

The French government is attempting to extricate itself from a growing fury in Africa over attempts by French citizens to adopt children from the nation of Chad. The French charity, Zoe’s Ark, was trying to fly 100 children out of the poverty of Chad to new homes in France. President Idris Deby Itno reacted with fury to the operation claiming the French were attempt to “kill them and remove their organs.” Nine French nationals including members of the charity organization, three journalists and Spanish flight crew members face charges of kidnapping. President Niclas Sarkozy telephoned the Chad leader to express his dismay over the botched operation, and said all involved would be subject to French law.Chad is an important link in UN troops fighting in Darfur and serves as transit point for supplies. Zoe’s Ark claims it was attempting to rescue children of Darfur refugees trapped in Chad from the horror of what awaits them in Darfur. France’s opposition leader, Francois Hollande, warned Sarkozy not to allow the Chad president to use this incident as a pretext to cover up his corruption and ineffectiveness by playing up an anti-French line.

This incident raises many questions pertaining to efforts by well meaning people to adopt children trapped in horrible situations. On one hand, the intent is honorable, on the other hand, it places parents in a difficult situation of giving up their children in hope a home far away will save their lives. Perhaps, another alternative is focusing on ways to improve conditions so parents can keep their children. Of course such an approach costs money.

The Cold Freeze Between Putin And Sarkozy

President Nicolas Sarkozy was on one of his hyperactive adventures in diplomacy when he encountered a stone faced Vladmir Putin of Russia. Sarkozy tried turning on the charm about his “friend Vladmir,” but the Russian responded with a frosty glare. The Russian leader disagrees with Sarkozy’s alliance with the United States in attempting to force Iran into ending its atomic energy program. Putin prefers allowing the United Nations to handle the situation and regards America’s heavy handed approach as emanating from emotion rather than from solid evidence. Sarkozy admitted Russia did not agree with his point of view. “There is a difference of analysis on whether the Iranians are manufacturing the bomb and whether they want to use it.” The French president met with Russian students at Bauman university where he championed freedom of the press and noted, “A country where the judiciary are not independent is not a free country” which Putin interpreted as an attack on his government’s policies.

Before leaving Moscow, Sarkozy met with representatives of the Memorial organization which is involved in defence of human rights in the Caucsus. Putin, undoubtedly, regarded Sarkozy’s comments as another insult to his policies. Sarkozy tried walking the thin line between being a guest and also being a champion of civil rights. In taking a stand for human rights, he most probably angered Putin. A difficulty in dealing with Putin is his anger at placement of missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic which he regards as embedded in western threats to his nation’s integrity. Perhaps, agreeing to work with Putin on the missile base issue might reduce tension between West and Russia.

President Sarkozy Heads East To Confront Russia

France’s President, Nicolas Sarkozy, is headed for his first trip to Russia, but along the way he intends talking with nations that have rocky relations with their Russian neighbor. He will meet with Ukranian president Viktor Yuschchenko who led the Orange Revolution against Moscow’s man in the Ukraine, and the French president will also meet with Poland’s president Lech Kaczyinski who has continually expressed his concerns about Russia. Sarkozy will meet with Czech leaders who are supporting American efforts to place missiles in their nation, an action, which has resulted in negative reactions from Putin.

Sarkozy has a tendency to regard himself as more knowledgeable than other leaders in dealing with international issues and concerns. He apparently enjoys throwing his weight around to prove France is still a powerful nation in the world. He will be meeting with President Putin who is a mirror image of the French president in believing in his personal power to dominate and control. It will be interesting to observe the outcome of a meeting between two arrogant men.

Ahmadinejad Rants About Jews And Atomic Energy

President Ahmadinejad gave one of his normal anti-Israel and anti-US speeches in which he indicated his nation would never submit to any proposal which denies it the right to use atomic energy. “The Iranian nation favors talks but it won’t negotiate over its definite and legal nuclear rights.” He also claimed his nation was only interested in peaceful uses of nuclear energy and had no interest in atomic bombs. Ahmadinejad was speaking on Al-Quds Day(Jerusalem Day) and launched into a bitter attack on Israel in which he urged Jews to move to Alaska or Europe since they had no right to any land in the Middle East.

It is still debatable whether or not Iran is engaged in nuclear bomb development, it is not debatable that it is engaged in nuclear development. From the Iranian perspective, the United States just granted India the right to continue its nuclear weapons program without being forced to undergo inspection. India, Pakistan, and Israel have atomic weapons — Israel obtain its weapons due to assistance from France, not the United States. It is interesting to note that after French Foreign Minister Kouchner expressed admiration for Iran, Ahmadinejad said he was willing to talk with France. Step one in moving toward ending further development of atomic weapons in the region is ceasing rhetoric and threats. Ahmadinejad’s comments concerning Israel are nonsense and are best ignored in the same manner intelligent Americans ignore Bush’s ranting about spreading democracy in the world. Step two, is moving toward negotiations. I realize critics will denounce me as an appeaser — Ahmadinejad does not run Iran, clerics like the Ayatollah Khamenei are in charge. Let’s deal with the real bosses, not the stooges.