Nicolas Sarkozy meets with George W. Bush

13th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

WASHINGTON, Sept 12, 2006 (AFP) - French interior minister and likely presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday that "all options" must remain open to solve the Iranian nuclear crisis.

WASHINGTON, Sept 12, 2006 (AFP) - French interior minister and likely presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday that "all options" must remain open to solve the Iranian nuclear crisis.

The French government's number two official spoke to the French American Foundation in Washington after meeting with US President George W. Bush.

"We must show great firmness and great unity to solve this (Iranian) issue," Sarkozy told the foundation.

"Diplomacy must be our principal weapon, but I think that all options should be left open if diplomacy is to take shape," he said.

Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States have offered Iran talks on trade and other benefits if Tehran will first suspend uranium enrichment, the process that makes nuclear reactor fuel but also atom bomb material.

The United States, which charges that Iran is hiding secret work to make nuclear weapons, is pushing for United Nations sanctions against Iran for failing to honor a UN resolution that set an August 31 deadline for Tehran to halt the strategic nuclear fuel work.

"The prospect of such a regime armed with weapons as destructive as nuclear missiles is terrifying. It would pave the way for a deadly arms race in the region," Sarkozy said.

"It would be a constant threat to the existence of Israel. History has shown the consequences of complacency in the face of aggression and in the face of fundamentalism," he said.

Sarkozy met Bush at the White House during scheduled discussions with the national security adviser, Stephen Hadley. The meeting lasted about 35 minutes, according to the French delegation.

Sarkozy began his visit to the United States on Saturday, meeting Monday with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and joining ceremonies marking the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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