Powell says France, US annoy each other
WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (AFP) - US Secretary of State Colin Powell admitted Wednesday that he was occasionally annoyed by France's forceful expression of views, particularly its opposition to the war in Iraq, but said he believed the feeling was mutual.
“The French are a proud people that have strong views about things, and from time to time, yes, they have annoyed me,” Powell said. “And I’m sure from time to time I have annoyed them.”
Nevertheless, he paid tribute to the French who he noted had been US allies since colonial America fought for and won independence from Britain in the late 1700s.
And Powell said his relationship with his French counterpart Dominique de Villepin was such that they have “the most candid and direct conversations about what we do that annoys the other.”
“France and the United States have had a long relationship,” he said in an interview with a Philadelphia radio station. “They have been with us through thick and thin.
“They were with us when we fought for our independence 229 years ago but we have had disagreements with the French,” said Powell who, has often likened the two countries to an elderly couple who have been through more than two centuries of marriage counseling.
He added that he thought wartime tensions between Washington and Paris were easing now because both the United States and France, along with Germany which also opposed the war, were united in wanting to improve the lives of the Iraqi people.
“Now we are moving on, and the French and the Germans and all those who opposed our actions are positioning themselves to see how they can best help us as we reconstruct Iraq and give the Iraqi people a better life,” Powell said.
Subject: France news