I dunno. It’s early in the morning and all, but I keep reading over this story and it keeps saying the same thing. Could the London bombings have awakened Jacques Chirac? Or does he find it expedient to appear as if that were so? Or is it something he ate?
“Chirac: Iran’s nuclear plan may lead to sanctions,” from Haaretz, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
French President Jacques Chirac has told Haaretz that if European negotiations with Iran fail to eliminate the threat of nuclear proliferation, then the issue will have to be moved to the UN Security Council.
Chirac’s statements regarding the possibility of imposing sanctions on Iran, which, according to observers, is the first time he has taken such a firm position in the matter, came in an interview with Haaretz on the eve of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s state visit to France Wednesday….
And that’s not all:
The French president, meanwhile, spoke highly of Sharon and Israel, in preparation of the premier’s upcoming visit to Paris.
“I wish to convey my profound admiration and friendship I feel toward the State of Israel and the Israeli people – a great people of tradition and culture, which is looking to the future,” Chirac said.
“In welcoming Prime Minister Sharon to Paris, France is sending its friend, Israel, a message of trust: A profound belief that peace is possible, a desire to contribute to the peace, an aspiration to be Israel’s top-ranked partner politically, economically, and culturally, in keeping with the depth of the ties uniting our peoples and in accordance with the lofty mission assigned to both peoples because of their common heritage.”
Officials in Jerusalem were highly gratified by Chirac’s warm and unusual statements. A Prime Minister’s Bureau source said that “Sharon intends to respond to Chirac in kind,” and that the visit – Sharon’s first state visit to Paris since 2001 – is expected to be “a visit of agreement” that will reflect the substantial warming of bilateral relations over the past two years.
And even that is not all:
In the same vein, Chirac said that “mothing can justify terror… We understand well [Israel’s contention with Palestinian terrorism], and we have always condemned the acts of terror of which Israelis are the victims.” Asked specifically about Israel’s “targeted assassinations” in the territories, Chirac opted to avoid addressing the question and not to repeat previous condemnations.
Chirac also took a categorical and surprising stance against Hamas in the interview. “Hamas is a terrorist organization that cannot be an interlocutor of the international community, as long as it does not renounce violence and does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. This is the unambiguous position of the EU and it will not change.”
But alas, poised on the brink of the abyss, Jacques drew back:
However, like British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Chirac believes that when it comes to terrorism, “We must deal with all the factors that nourish the hatred and the frustrations: the unresolved conflicts, the religious intolerance, the rejection of the other, and the economic instability.”
The jihad ideology? Mais non!