France will not forget Iraq rift, says minister

11th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

NICE, France, Feb 10 (AFP) - French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said Thursday that Paris will not forget its divisions with the United States over Iraq, even if everyone had learned to love each other again.

NICE, France, Feb 10 (AFP) - French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said Thursday that Paris will not forget its divisions with the United States over Iraq, even if everyone had learned to love each other again.

"That everyone loves each other, that is fundamental," she said, when asked if everything was forgiven and forgotten two years after the transatlantic crisis triggered by the Iraq war.

"But that everything be forgotten? No," she said. "I don't think it should be forgotten," she continued. "I think that in the end these periods of tension are part of our transatlantic relations, and have been for a long time.

"There have been many of them and I think it is on the contrary our ability to know how to overcome our differences, that we have sometimes, which provides the solidity of our relationship."

France led a group of anti-war countries along with Germany during the 2003 transatlantic split.

Alliot-Marie was speaking after a day of informal talks with her counterparts from NATO, which was plunged into one of its worst ever crises by the Iraq conflict.

The talks in the Riviera city of Nice were the first such meeting in France for at least four decades, after French president General Charles de Gaulle pulled his country from NATO's integrated military command in 1966.

The French minister referred to the symbolic nature of the meeting when she welcomed her fellow ministers Thursday morning, declaring: "NATO is at home here."

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article