December 22, 2003


We were kept in the dark over deal with Libya, says France (Henry Samuel, 23/12/2003, Daily Telegraph)

"We were not kept informed," M de Villepin said. His disclosure underlined the continuing mistrust in relations between the English-speaking powers and France, which made much of its opposition to war in Iraq.

M de Villepin sought to gloss over the differences, describing the relationship as one of "extremely active and fertile co-operation".

His words contradicted those of Michele Alliot-Marie, defence minister, who claimed on Sunday that France was "perfectly informed of the negotiations" several months ago.

Bizarrely, Mme Alliot-Marie denied there was any discrepancy between the two accounts, suggesting the foreign ministry was not as involved as her department. [...]

Even the normally pro-government Le Figaro described the Libyan deal as a "semi-failure" for France, which has been against tough action against rogue states.

Annick Lepetit, the Socialist party spokesman, said it signified "the isolation of France and French diplomacy in an area where it is traditionally influential".


Posted by Orrin Judd at December 22, 2003 10:20 PM

As France has been occupied with headscarves over the past six or so months, it's doubtful she would have been able to devote much time to Qaddafi.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at December 23, 2003 2:53 AM

Don't forget the heat wave and its effects.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 23, 2003 3:52 AM

Isn't there an international law against keeping France in the dark? Somebody call the UN now!

Posted by: Peter B at December 23, 2003 5:34 AM

Can't believe we missed the opportunity to have the Polish (or Romanian) Foreign Minister be the one to announce the deal to this pathetic little Napoleon.

Posted by: MG at December 23, 2003 10:19 AM