Sarkozy vows no talks with Taliban, Hamas, Iran
The president takes a tough stance on the world’s troublespots and defends decision to send more troops to Afghanistan.25 April 2008
PARIS - - French President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed Thursday that he would not hold talks with Taliban militia in Afghanistan, Hamas in the Palestinian territories nor Iran's president.
Signalling a tough stance on some of the world's troublespots and defending his decision to send extra troops to Afghanistan, Sarkozy said that if France abandons the Afghan government "Pakistan will fall like a house of cards".
"We are in Afghanistan next to the Afghans," Sarkozy said in a primetime television interview.
"Next to Afghanistan there is Pakistan, there is an atomic bomb," he added.
"If we let Afghanistan fall, Pakistan will fall like a house of cards.
Sarkozy this month announced that France would send an extra 700 troops to Afghanistan but he said "this is not a war, as the immense majority of Afghans need the coalition that is there."
Sarkozy rejected calls from some quarters for a dialogue with the Taliban, which has fought back against international forces since it was forced from power in late 2001.
"Opening a dialogue with people who amputate the hand of a woman because she had varnish on her nails, who have stopped millions of little girls from going to school, who brought down Buddhas with hundreds of years of history, who stone a so-called adulterous woman, if it means talking with this outfit, I don't think we have a lot to say."
Sarkozy had a similar message for the Hamas leadership and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"I don't think I can speak to Hamas ... because I do not have the right to speak to an organisation which announces that it wants to wipe Israel off the map," he said.
"I cannot speak with the Iranian president who has announced that he too wants to wipe Israel off."
"There are a minimum of principles in our diplomacy," the French leader declared.
Sarkozy said that EU aid and money should be given to Palestinian authority president Mahmud Abbas and not to Hamas which rules Gaza.
"We have to give it to people who understand that there is no future without the recognition of Israel (as) there is no future for Israel without the recognition of a modern, democratic and secure Palestinian state."
[AFP / Expatica]