Juppe proclaims 'solidarity' with embattled minister
French defense minister Alain Juppe on Monday proclaimed his "solidarity" with Michele Alliot-Marie, France's foreign minister who admitted taking a controversial flight with a Tunisian businessman.
"I am always in solidarity with friends in trouble but I don't comment on a domestic policy question seen in New York or Washington," Juppe said in New York.
Juppe met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and was scheduled to meet later Monday with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Alliot-Marie acknowledged Monday the "shock" caused by her holidaying in Tunisia during the popular uprising there but refused to resign under pressure from political opponents.
She admitted traveling in a private plane owned by a businessman who was allegedly close to relatives of Tunisia's ousted dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
"I can see that it shocks people," said Alliot-Marie, in an interview in the newspaper Le Parisien published on Monday.
© 2011 AFP