American official hails 'strong ties' with France

3rd May 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 2, 2006 (AFP) - France and the United States -- bitterly divided over the US-led war in Iraq -- have put the rift behind them to work as close partners on international affairs, a top US diplomat said Tuesday.

PARIS, May 2, 2006 (AFP) - France and the United States -- bitterly divided over the US-led war in Iraq -- have put the rift behind them to work as close partners on international affairs, a top US diplomat said Tuesday.

"I can tell you in Washington we have no better partner right now on most of these issues that occupy the Security Council... than the French government," Nicholas Burns, US Undersecretary for Political Affairs, told reporters in the French capital.

"We're so pleased at the strength of the relationship between France and the United States," he said, stressing that Paris and Washington shared a common position on Iran, Syria and the conflict in Sudan's Darfur region.

Burns was US ambassador to NATO at the start of the Iraq war, when Washington had vowed to scale back its contacts with Paris to "punish" it for its opposition to the conflict.

He referred to "the disaffection, and misunderstandings and disagreements between France and the United States" as firmly rooted in the past.

The US official was in Paris to take part in talks between Security Council members on Tehran's nuclear programme, which the West fears could be hiding a drive for the atom bomb.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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