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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Will France become pro-Israel?

This could be a pleasant surprise.

French Election 2007 blogs an article from The Economist that claims that regardless of whether Segolene Royal or Nicolas Sarcozy wins the French election, French policy in the Middle East is likely to change to be more pro-Israel.
In a controversial article in October's French edition of Foreign Policy, Fran├žois Roche, its editor, argues that France has been so preoccupied by a desire for glory and grandeur that it has failed to notice the huge gap between regions where its future interests will lie (Russia, China, India, Brazil and Mexico), and those where its diplomatic and military efforts are concentrated (Africa and the Arab world).


As for the Middle East, both Mr Sarkozy and Ms Royal want to warm up relations with Israel, suggesting that under either France may temper its Arabist instincts. Israel knows this. Two days before meeting Mr Sarkozy in Paris, Ms Livni dined with Ms Royal in Jerusalem. To Israel's delight, Ms Royal has stuck by her unorthodox line that Iran should be stopped from enriching uranium even for civilian use. France has usually argued that its influence in the region depends on its credibility with Arab friends. The next president may put that doctrine to the test.
Maybe the French have finally figured out that all they are getting from the Arabs is Muslim immigrants who produce 'youths' who burn the country down.


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