US embassy cable - 05PARIS1306 (original version)

SARKOZY WATCH: FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER DE CHARETTE EXTENDS UMP HAND OF FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION TO U.S. (original version)

Identifier: 05PARIS1306
Wikileaks: View 05PARIS1306 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Paris
Created: 2005-03-01 17:30:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL FR PINT
Redacted: This cable was redacted by Wikileaks. [Show redacted version] [Compare redacted and unredacted version]
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L PARIS 001306 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2015 
TAGS: PREL, FR, PINT 
SUBJECT: SARKOZY WATCH: FORMER FOREIGN MINISTER DE CHARETTE 
EXTENDS UMP HAND OF FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION TO U.S. 
 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Howard Leach, for reasons 1.5 (b) and (d) 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  In a remarkable initiative, the new head of 
international relations of the governing UMP party, former 
Foreign Minister Herve de Charette called on Ambassador Leach 
March 1 offering a hand of friendship and cooperation. 
Charette applauded the positive results of U.S. policies 
across the Middle East -- on Israel/Palestine, Iraq and 
Lebanon -- and even assigned blame for the "embarrassing" 
downturn in relations over Iraq to President Chirac. 
Charette said the UMP would like to establish links with both 
major U.S. political parties, and connect with official U.S. 
visitors to Paris, as appropriate.  Charette's gesture, 
unprecedented in our memory, reportedly came at the behest of 
UMP President Sarkozy.  The views he expressed are, just as 
clearly, those of the politician currently best placed to end 
Chirac's tenure as President.  End Summary 
 
2.  (C) Former Foreign Minister Herve de Charette called on 
Ambassador Leach March 1 in his capacity as head of 
international relations of the governing UMP party.  (Note: 
UMP President Nicolas Sarkozy recently named Charette to this 
position.  De Charette is also vice-president of the Foreign 
Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.  He served as 
Foreign Minister from 1995 to 1997 under Prime Minister Alain 
Juppe.)  Charette, referring to recent events in the Middle 
East -- Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt -- observed 
that U.S. policies have prospered.  The UMP applauds these 
positive results.  He and the UMP also agree with the USG 
thesis that "the Middle East is immobile politically because 
it is immobile economically."  He cited Secretary Rice's view 
-- which he shares -- that it is necessary to work with the 
world as it is, but we need not accept that it must remain as 
it is.  (This is a view, he added, that comes more naturally 
to a great power; smaller countries generally must accept the 
hand they have been dealt.)  Charette said that this 
commonality of views had led the UMP to the conclusion that 
it should "organize a useful relationship with the U.S." 
Charette spoke specifically of reaching out to U.S. political 
parties -- to its natural partner the Republican Party, but 
also to the Democrats.  In addition to contacts with parties, 
the UMP would be interested in meeting official visitors to 
Paris, as deemed appropriate by the Ambassador. 
 
3.  (C)  Commenting further on the current scene, Charette 
posited that "the relationship with the U.S. is the basis of 
French foreign relations."  The last two or three years have 
been "embarrassing."  Charette pointed the finger of blame in 
one direction:  "The President of the Republic went down a 
route that didn't make things any easier."   (Note: In 
February 2003, Charette was one of only a handful of French 
parliamentarians to warn against a French veto of a new UNSC 
resolution.)   The UMP welcomes the positive turn of recent 
weeks, said Charette.  He put particular stress on recent 
progress on Palestinian-Israeli relations, returning several 
times to a refrain, commonly heard here, that this is the key 
issue for European-U.S. relations.  France, he said, needs to 
adjust its approach so that it does not always "fall on the 
same (i.e. Palestinian) side of the road."  The U.S., which 
tends to fall on the other side, has been right to reproach 
the Palestinians for never being able to control their 
terrorist movements.  The second intifada was disastrous -- 
for the Palestinians, for the peace camp in Israel, and 
because it encouraged the establishment of more settlements. 
The new Palestinian leadership will not be able to escape the 
need to settle matters with the terrorists.  The Israelis, 
for their part, cannot hope to keep 250,000 of their own in 
the Palestinian territories.  The situation is extremely 
complex, said Charette, requiring all the energy of the U.S. 
and Europe.  He said he remains extremely anxious about the 
situation, and skeptical.  It is not at all clear that the 
conditions for peace are at hand -- bearing in mind the 
downward spiral that occurred after promising beginnings in 
the 1990s. 
 
4.  (C)  Ambassador Leach took the opportunity to ask 
Charette his views regarding Turkey and the EU, given his 
chairmanship of the Franco-Turkish Friendship Group in the 
National Assembly.  Charette said that the French people have 
a "deep and strong conviction against Turkish entry.  It is a 
feeling that will not disappear over time."  (Note:  This 
view, in contrast to that of President Chirac, reflects the 
opposition of UMP President Sarkozy and the majority of the 
UMP membership.) 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Leach 

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