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Alliot-Marie to US, meets with Rumsfeld

PARIS, Jan 15 (AFP) – French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie
travelled to the United States on Thursday for her first visit there since the
US-led invasion of Iraq.

The minister was to hold talks with her American counterpart Donald
Rumsfeld and with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, her spokesman
Jean-Francois Bureau said.

“The discussions in Washington will take place in a positive spirit of
cooperation. They are a sign that our American partners want to talk to us as
much as we want to talk to them,” he said.

“In everything to do with security and defence we are truly in a process of
cooperation and absolutely not of confrontation,” he said.

The Paris daily Le Monde reported Thursday that the French government is
studying the possibility of military involvement in Iraq under a UN banner
once the handover of sovereignty to the Iraqis takes place in June.


                                Subject: France news