Sarkozy wants a US-style national security adviser

14th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 13, 2007 (AFP) - French president-elect Nicolas Sarkozy, set to take office later this week, wants to create a national security adviser post similar to the position that exists in the United States, a source close to the government said Sunday.

PARIS, May 13, 2007 (AFP) - French president-elect Nicolas Sarkozy, set to take office later this week, wants to create a national security adviser post similar to the position that exists in the United States, a source close to the government said Sunday.

Sarkozy, who won the May 6 presidential election over socialist rival Segolene Royal and takes office Wednesday, is considering naming France's ambassador to Washington to the new post, the source said.

The ambassador, Jean-David Levitte, also served as an aide to outgoing President Jacques Chirac between 1995 and 1999.

Levitte, 60, would serve as a diplomatic adviser to Sarkozy as well, sources said.

The US national security adviser oversees a wide range of functions related to defense and foreign policy and advises the president.

Condoleezza Rice held the post before becoming secretary of state following 2004 elections. Stephen Hadley is the current US national security adviser.

Sarkozy's team has also contacted Bernard Kouchner, a member of socialist governments in the 1980s and 90s, to discuss the foreign minister post, sources said. Sarkozy, from the right-wing UMP party, had previously said he would seek to bring other parties into his government.

Kouchner, a former health minister, is the second politician to be named in connection with the foreign ministry job.

Hubert Vedrine, who had served as foreign minister in a 1997-2002 socialist government and was an aide to President Francois Mitterrand, had not responded to an earlier offer.

Kouchner is a founder of the humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders and has also served as the UN representative in Kosovo.

Vedrine may now be offered the position of justice minister, Sakozy aide Claude Gueant said.

Anne Lauvergeon, president of the Areva nuclear energy group who had also been a Mitterrand aide, has been contacted about joining the government, as well.

On Monday and Tuesday, Sarkozy is set to hold discussions with union officials. Some labor leaders fear Sarkozy will move ahead on several proposals seen as detrimental to unions without negotiating first.

The proposals include requiring workers to provide a minimum level of service during public transportation strikes and tax breaks for employees who agree to work longer hours.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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