Press Briefing Given by French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Excerpts)

September 25, 2007

[Please note that only the original French text issued by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs may be considered official.]

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Q. - In your speech today you reverted to a more traditional French policy line after the shift on Iran we've talked a lot about?

THE PRESIDENT - I don't know. If you think my speech was traditional, that's a harsh judgement on the speech, but generous as regards the tradition. Frankly, it isn't that easy to draft a speech which tries to get policies changed in the inevitably constrained framework of a United Nations General Assembly, it isn't easy, not that simple. You draw the conclusion that M. Kouchner and I have reverted to the traditional French foreign policy line, that's harsh, but since I know that you mean well, I take it as an appeal to do better. I've tried to put the case for our ideas, to give France her rightful place in the world. France has to contribute new ideas, she has get policies to change, she has to talk to everyone, that's the idea M. Kouchner and I are keeping on and on about. France is loyal to her allies, to her values, but France wants to talk to everyone. Yes, France is inviting Hugo Chávez to France. She's talking to everyone precisely because she is true to her values and friendships, and she doesn't have to apologise for that. I want at the same time to be the one who won't budge on Iranian military nuclear power and the one who takes civilian nuclear power to countries which need the energy of the future. That was one of the topics in the discussions we had yesterday at Mr Ban Ki-moon's dinner.

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