Sarkozy cites human rights, global warming as priorities

16th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 16, 2007 (AFP) - President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday that defending human rights and action on global warming would be priorities for French diplomacy.

PARIS, May 16, 2007 (AFP) - President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday that defending human rights and action on global warming would be priorities for French diplomacy.

Sarkozy also pledged in his inaugural address after taking over from Jacques Chirac as France's 23rd president to support the welfare state in Europe, create a Mediterranean Union and bolster development in Africa.

"I will fight for a Europe that protects because the European ideal is to protect the citizens of Europe," he said after taking office during a formal ceremony at the Elysee presidential palace.

"I will fight for a Mediterranean Union. By turning its back on the Mediterranean, France has turned its back on its past, and on its future," he said.

Sarkozy has proposed that countries along the Mediterrean rim in Europe, the Middle East and north Africa come together to bolster regional cooperation.

"I will fight for the development of Africa because the destiny of Europe and that of Africa are indisputably linked," he said.

"I will make the defense of human rights and the struggle against global warming priorities of France's diplomatic ation in the world," he said.

"The task will be difficult and it will take time."

Sarkozy, 52, was due to travel to Berlin later in the day for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, underscoring the importance of the Franco-German relationship.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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