War not answer to terrorism: Villepin

8th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 7, 2006 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin made a sideswipe against US policy Thursday, saying that "against terrorism, it is not a war that has to be fought".

PARIS, Sept 7, 2006 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin made a sideswipe against US policy Thursday, saying that "against terrorism, it is not a war that has to be fought".

Speaking before the National Assembly, Villepin said the current crises in the Middle East "are doing the work of the terrorists for them... We can see it with terrorism: it seeks to strike inside or beyond our borders, grafting itself onto conflicts and exploiting people's suffering."

"Against terrorism, it is not a war that has to be fought, but — as France has done for years — a determined struggle based on constant vigilance and effective cooperation with our partners.

"We will never bring this plague to an end except by also fighting against injustice, violence, against crises," he said.

"It is the duty of France and Europe to show that the clash of civilisations is not an inevitability. It is only we — French and Europeans — who bear this wisdom inherited from history. It is only we who bear this hope for a region that many believe condemned to violence and fanaticism," he said.

Meanwhile on a visit to a secret nuclear simulation test centre outside Paris, President Jacques Chirac reiterated France's reliance on atomic weapons as a deterrent against aggression.

"In an uncertain world, confronted by threats that are constantly changing, nuclear dissuasion guarantees our vital interests. To that end, our strategic force must adapt constantly, in flexibility and reactivity," he said.

In January, in a speech at a submarine base, Chirac for the first time said France could use non-conventional weapons against states that resort to terrorism or arms of mass destruction.

Reacting to US President George W. Bush's recognition that secret prisons were used around the world to hold terrorist suspects, Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy called on Washington to bring to an end the "embarrassment" created by the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

"The situation of the Guantanamo prisoners, who are being held in a state of exception, must be sorted out so as not to perpetuate the embarrassment constituted by this state of affairs," Douste-Blazy said.

But the foreign minister also noted positively "President Bush's decision aimed at placing all the people qualified as enemy combatants under the protection of the Geneva Conventions, with notably the possibility of visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

 

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