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McCain says US must listen more to European allies on key issues

Published on 25/03/2008

   PARIS, March 25, 2008  - Republican nominee John McCain said in aninterview published Saturday the United States must show it is listening toits European allies while also standing firm on issues like the war inAfghanistan.   The US presidential candidate, who met France's President Nicolas Sarkozyin Paris Friday, told the French daily Le Monde he is grateful to Paris forits help in Afghanistan even though Washington would have liked this supportto be on a larger scale.   McCain said he was not in Europe to criticise US allies, but instead hopedthey would lend a hand in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and its economy.   He said the United States has good relations in particular with France,Germany and Britain, as well as eastern European states, all of which he saidstand together against Islamic fundamentalism.   Since Sarkozy was elected last year, he has engaged in a friendlierrelationship with the United States than his predecessor Jacques Chirac, whostrongly opposed the US invasion of Iraq.   McCain defended the war in the interview, saying that he was absolutelycertain of success and that the problem was not the US presence in Iraq, butrather the loss of American lives.   On the subject of Iran, McCain said he holds similar views to Sarkozy andwould like to see stronger economic and diplomatic sanctions than thosecurrently being enforced by the UN Security Council.