New French foreign minister to meet Rice in US

20th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 19 (AFP) - Newly appointed French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said on Sunday he would visit the United States early next month to meet his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice.

PARIS, June 19 (AFP) - Newly appointed French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said on Sunday he would visit the United States early next month to meet his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice.

"On July 5 I shall go to Washington", he told a radio station. "I shall go first to say that for me Americans are friends, that we shall never forget what they have done, what we owe them.

"Sometimes we disagree. I am thinking above all of the Kyoto process (on climate change), or two years ago, our position on Iraq," he said.

"When you have a friend and you disagree you have to tell him."

Douste-Blazy said he had spoken to Rice several times on the telephone and looked forward to meeting her.

Relations between France and the US deteriorated badly in the run-up to the Iraq war when Paris was a vocal critic of US policy.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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