France urges US to ‘act together with Europe'

17th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 17 (AFP) - France's Foreign Minister Michel Barnier appealed Wednesday to the United States to resume a truly multilateral foreign policy, especially a return to real dialogue with Europe.

PARIS, Nov 17 (AFP) - France's Foreign Minister Michel Barnier appealed Wednesday to the United States to resume a truly multilateral foreign policy, especially a return to real dialogue with Europe.

"This is the moment to turn over a new leaf and act together, Americans and Europeans, together with the Russians, the United Nations..." he told the newspaper Le Figaro, commenting on recent estrangements between Europeans and George W. Bush's administration in Washington.

France's relations with the United States became particularly strained over the Iraq war.

"I urge the Americans to play a more multilateral role, especially towards the Europeans," he said:

The minister said he had been seeking "the challenge of relaunching transatlantic dialogue," recalling past international cooperative efforts in trouble spots such as Ivory Coast, Haiti, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

"The true point of disagreement is probably in the ideas we have formed of the new world order and how to put an end to the current disorder."

"We believe you have to have several poles for the world to be more balanced," Barnier also recalled, echoing President Jacques Chirac's calls for a multi-polar world.

"China, India, Russia, South Africa, Brazil ... how can we imagine that these countries are not powers with whom we also have to conduct dialogue..."

Barnier also reiterated a suggestion that, in order to relaunch dialogue, "our governments should be briefed by a group of some dozen American and European, independent, very high-level personalities, who could be chosen by President Bush on one hand and the Europeans on the other."

"This group would have the task of reviewing the entire state of our relations and their prospects. It would have to consider the possibilities of a new alliance."

Barnier also proposed immediate action on the Middle East following the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, especially to give new impetus to the so-called roadmap for a peace settlement envisaging a Palestinian state while guaranteeing Israeli security and ending violence.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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