No French troops for Iraq’neither today or tomorrow’
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 23 (AFP) - France on Thursday reiterated its criticism of the US-led war in Iraq and will not send troops to the country, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said on Thursday.
“As everyone knows, France did not approve of the conditions in which the conflict was unleashed. Neither today nor tomorrow will it commit itself militarily in Iraq,” Barnier told the UN General Assembly.
“In Iraq, violence is exploding. Only when the Iraqis themselves take control of their future … will the country be able to escape the chaos which could destabilise the entire region,” Barnier said.
The United States and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan have both called for troops to be sent to Iraq, in particular for a dedicated force to protect UN personnel helping to prepare for elections by the end of January 2005.
But France, one of the harshest critics of the war that brought down on Saddam Hussein, has repeatedly ruled out any military participation in Iraq.
“However, it reaffirms its willingness, with its European partners, to assist the Iraqi people in rebuilding their country and restoring their institutions,” he said.
Subject: French News