The recent trip by Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to Iraq not only symbolized the first visit to that nation by a French diplomat in years, but signified the determination of President Sarkozy to play a key role in Middle Eastern affairs. Sarkozy has openly expressed friendship for Israel but he also has indicated support for Muslim interests. Sarkozy seeks to end American hostility towards his nation without embracing American policy in Iraq. He believes it possible for France to play a mediator role in Middle Eastern events, one which no longer is possible for America to display.
Sarkozy may well be a key player in helping Middle Eastern nations to reach compromises. It is unfortunate George Bush never grasped the importance of working both sides of the fence, the only approach which enables a mediator to achieve success.