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Nov-29-2008 13:53printcomments

French President Praises Obama's Views on Afghanistan and Iran

The politically conservative president of France salutes Obama's plans.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy
French President Nicholas Sarkozy

(DOHA) - U.S. president-elect Barack Obama's plan to prioritize the war in Afghanistan and continue talks with Iran over its nuclear program is receiving praise from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Agence France-Presse reports.

"Barack Obama has already announced that he will make Afghanistan a priority and I am delighted because we have to put all of our energy and willpower into helping Afghanistan to stand up on its own feet," Sarkozy told the Saudi daily Asharq Al-Awsat.

"A key to the solution will also be opening a broad political dialogue that would allow all Afghans who want to, and renounce violence, to participate in the rebuilding of their country," the French president was quoted as saying in the interview published ahead of his Saturday meeting with Saudi King Abdullah in Jeddah.

AFP reports that Sarkozy also welcomed Obama's recent statements regarding Iran, which has refused international appeals to halt uranium enrichment.

Obama's statements "reflect our shared views on the necessity of dialogue without concessions with Tehran as the only way to obtain a negotiated end to the crisis," Sarkozy said.

While Iran has stated repeatedly that its nuclear program is peaceful, western politicians and media groups continue to insist that it wants to master uranium enrichment in order to build a nuclear weapon.

Sarkozy had arranged to meet with Abdullah Saturday afternoon in Jeddah after stopping briefly in Doha to address a UN-organised conference on financing development being attended by a number of African leaders.

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Henry Ruark November 29, 2008 2:09 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Please note essential place of civil dialog in this dangerous key foreign policy situation. Might even translate into real attention to similar approach, with less p/pander, cavil and complaint, and a bit more patience, from all concerned. See upcoming Op Ed for reasons why this is so at the heart of what President Obama is now striving to accomplish.

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