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O.T. France to offer MEDICAL assistance only !!

Old 03-19-2003, 10:33 AM
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Default O.T. France to offer MEDICAL assistance only !!

As if their assistance meant diddly squat in the first place..

France Snaps at British Jibes, Clarifies Help Offer
40 minutes ago Add World - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Tom Heneghan

PARIS (Reuters) - France denounced British attacks on its Iraq (news - web sites) policy on Wednesday as Paris sought to pick up the pieces after defying heavy pressure from Washington and London to support the looming war against Baghdad.

Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin pronounced himself "shocked and saddened" at seeing France berated for threatening to veto any pro-war resolution at the United Nations (news - web sites) and said such attacks were beneath a friend and European partner.

His protest call to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw came as Paris had to clarify remarks by its ambassador in Washington that gave the false impression that France would join the fight in Iraq if Baghdad used chemical or biological weapons.

At the same time, his ministry issued a statement welcoming French-British cooperation in the European Union (news - web sites)'s agreement on Tuesday to take over NATO (news - web sites)'s peacekeeping mission in Macedonia.

"The French authorities were shocked and saddened by what members of the British government said during the recent debates in the House of Commons," a Foreign Ministry statement said, referring to Tuesday's heated parliamentary debate over Iraq.

"We can well understand the internal pressure being exerted on the British government. But the words used were not worthy of a country which is both a friend and a European partner.

"This presentation of the facts does not give a true picture of actual events and deceives no one."

A diplomatic source said Villepin also urged Straw to reject firmly any suggestion France was to blame for the failure of U.N. efforts to convince Iraq to disarm through peaceful means.

Villepin was due at the U.N. Security Council later on Wednesday to hear the latest report from chief arms inspector Hans Blix, a step meant to underline France's view that the United Nations remained central to solving the Iraq crisis.


British Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites) bitterly castigated French leaders on Tuesday for what he called their misguided and profoundly dangerous stand that blocked the U.S. and U.K.-backed resolution and benefited Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).

Arguing that Saddam only responded to threats, Blair said: "And yet when that fact is so obvious that it is staring us in the face, we are told that any resolution that authorizes force will be vetoed.

"Not just opposed. Vetoed. Blocked. The tragedy is that had such a resolution been issued, he might just have complied."

French President Jacques Chirac shocked Britain last week by vowing to veto any war resolution "whatever the circumstances."

Straw termed it "extraordinary" that he rejected last-minute British compromise proposals even before Saddam did.

Guy Teissier, head of the National Assembly's defense committee and a member of Chirac's center-right UMP party, also rejected the vituperative attacks fired from across the Channel.

"I think it's a way out to avoid or disguise the defeat of the resolution of the British, Americans and Spanish," he told France's i-television. "Actually, the solution would have been to have given more time (to the arms inspections)."

France's ambassador in Washington, Jean-David Levitte, appeared to offer an olive branch to the United States on Tuesday when he told CNN that France could help the U.S.-led military coalition if Baghdad used biological or chemical arms.

But French diplomats in Paris made clear this was not a change in France's refusal to join the war. "It is obvious we wouldn't sit back and not help if there was a chemical attack. But what we are talking about is medical assistance," one said.

"Thanks, but no thanks, France," the conservative Washington Times wrote. "This may be the French concept of glory. But there are other, unmentionable words for it in English."
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Old 03-19-2003, 12:13 PM
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Thanks but NO THANKS FRANCE, we will just remember the next time someone posses a threat to you!!!!!!!!!! US doens't forget like the French
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