Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Iraq

"The government of the French Republic and the government of the Republic of Iraq, desiring to promote and to reinforce the ties of friendship and cooperation between their two countries and people, on the basis of mutual respect for one another's sovereignty and consistent with the principles of the UN Charter, have decided to reestablish diplomatic relations as of July 12, 2004 and to exchange ambassadors as soon as possible. The two governments are convinced that this decision will contribute to strengthening the ties and exchanges between France and Iraq, to the great benefit of both countries."

"Le gouvernement de la République française et le gouvernement de la République d'Irak, désireux de promouvoir et de renforcer les liens d'amitié et de coopération existant entre leurs deux pays et leurs deux peuples, sur la base du respect mutuel de leur souveraineté, conformément aux principes de la Charte des Nations unies, ont pris la décision de rétablir, à compter du 12 juillet 2004, leurs relations diplomatiques et d'échanger des ambassadeurs dans les meilleurs délais. Les deux gouvernements sont convaincus que cette décision contribuera au resserrement des liens entre la France et l'Irak, comme à l'intensification de leurs échanges, pour le plus grand intérêt des deux pays."

--Statement of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs

"We welcome that. We think it's a good development. I think it's been 13 years, but we do think it's time for all governments to work with the new government in Iraq and support the new government in Iraq, and we welcome signs that France is interested in doing that."

--Reaction of the US State Department spokesman to France's announcement