Chirac urges revival of Mideast peace efforts

19th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Nov 18 (AFP) - President Jacques Chirac called Thursday for a new world order based on multilateralism and he appealed to the United States and Europe to "rally together" to promote peace in the Middle East.

LONDON, Nov 18 (AFP) - President Jacques Chirac called Thursday for a new world order based on multilateralism and he appealed to the United States and Europe to "rally together" to promote peace in the Middle East.

Chirac warned that a world ruled by "the logic of power" was certain to be unstable and headed for conflict.

Chirac - in London to mark the centenary of the entente cordiale, a diplomatic agreement ending centuries of warfare - has been an outspoken critic of the decision by the United States, Britain and a handful of others to invade Iraq without UN approval.

Speaking to a foreign policy gathering, Chirac said a "sounder and fairer" international order would emerge through a collective approach, rather than a world based on might.

"Granted, it is still possible to organise the world based on a logic of power," Chirac said.

"Yet experience has taught us that this type of organisation is, by its very definition, unstable and sooner or later leads to crisis or conflict."

Chirac said the world community "must work together to revive multilateralism, a multilateralism based on a reformed and strengthened United Nations" - an organisation representing new balances in the world through the enlargment of both the permanent and non-permanent membership of the Security Council.

Chirac said the imperative of promoting peace in the Middle East was all the more urgent as a result of the death of the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.

"Reviving the Middle East peace process is an absolute priority, which should rally Americans and Europeans together," he said, while also involving Russia and the United Nations, which also are co-sponsors of the so-called roadmap for peace in the region.

"The resolution of the Middle East conflict can no longer wait," Chirac said. Faced with a risk of chaos in the wake of Arafat's death, "the Palestinian leaders have opted for democracy. Let us support them in this."

Earlier in the day, he and Blair reiterated the need for a relaunch of Mideast negotiations, while the British leader stressed that "steps" back to the roadmap included Palestinian elections and the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

On another key foreign policy question, Chirac lined up with Blair against the United States in strongly supporting the Kyoto protocol on reducing greenhouse emissions.

Saying they were determined to show leadership on the issue, they jointly stated "climate change is the world's greatest environmental challenge."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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