De Villepin: On the Wisdom of Liberation
What are the views of France’s Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin on the U.S. liberation of Iraq?
November 18, 2003
As an opponent of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin has been an outspoken critic of the United States' handling of the post-war situation — and of the slow pace of transferring power to the Iraqi people. Now the United States advocates a faster turnover. Our Read My Lips feature explores Monsieur De Villepin’s views on Iraq.
What do you think of the current U.S. policy in Iraq?
"How many deaths must we count before we realize that we must change the approach?"
Why is the United States encountering so much resistance in Iraq?
"As soon as there is an occupation regime, there is resistance."
How does U.S. post-war policy need to change?
"Military unilateralism must not be matched by a diplomatic unilateralism."
Where would you begin with the transfer of power to the Iraqi people?
"Let's start with what already exists: There is a Governing Council, a council of ministers — and a constitutional committee."
Is there a double standard in dealing with security issues in Iraq and elsewhere in the region?
"We cannot plead for justice in Iraq — and not justice in the Middle East. We can't work for security in Iraq — and not work for security in the Middle East."
How would you deal with global terrorism?
"There is no military solution against terrorism. You need to have a political strategy."
Why is it important to combat terrorism politically?
"The democracies' agenda — the world's agenda — must not be drawn up by the terrorists."
Do you think that the rift between France and America over the war in Iraq has closed?
"The relationship between France and the United States is between friends and allies. Between friends and allies, you never have bitterness."
Why is it important that France and the United States work together?
"Today we are ready for any rendezvous. It is a hand extended to our American friends, because what is at stake now is the security of the world."