French anger at US campaign jibes

14th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (AFP) - France's Ambassador to the United States Jean-David Levitte railed late Tuesday against the France-bashing rhetoric of the US presidential campaign.

WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (AFP) - France's Ambassador to the United States Jean-David Levitte railed late Tuesday against the France-bashing rhetoric of the US presidential campaign.  

"As the French ambassador, I consider that during the last few weeks we have been a bit too much, as France, the punching bag of the electoral debate," Levitte said in comments at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington late Tuesday.  

"I cannot accept to see France, the French citizens, or French companies used as a tool of the campaign," he said.  

Levitte referred specifically to recent press allegations that France conspired with deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to bilk the UN Oil for Food program of millions of dollars - an allegation which France has denied.  

"I think it's fair to say that the United Nations did its best," he said. "It was a good program. Was it perfect? Of course not," he said, in remarks made in English.  

He declined to answer a question about his preference between White House contenders US President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger John Kerry.  

"It is the privilege of each American to choose his or her president," Levitte said. "I'm not an American and I've nothing to say in the electoral campaign."  

"What is important for two friends and allies like the United States and France is to make sure that whatever the choice... of the American people, we'll be in a position to work well together," Levitte added.  

The ambassador acknowledged that Paris and Washington have disagreed over the US-led war in Iraq, but said those differences, for the most part, have been resolved.  

"If we have different views about Iraq, on all the other issues we worked well, and we continue to work well, and it is important after November the 2nd to continue to do an even better job, if possible," Levitte said.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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