PARIS (Reuters) - France criticized Iraq's interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi Monday for saying states which did not actively fight terrorists would become their targets, after two Frenchmen were kidnapped in Iraq.Note that the interview in Le Monde was actually given to a pool of papers including WaPo, the Times (London), the LA Times, Knight-Ridder and Corriere della sera. But also note that... argh!!... yet AGAIN!... they've misspelled an English word from the US: it's Knight-Ridder, folks, an enormous and prestigious newspaper company any competent news organization familiar with the US ought to know well. Le Monde spells it Knight-Readers...
Allawi's comments in Le Monde daily came as France raced against the clock to secure the release of two French journalists kidnapped in Iraq by militants who told Paris to drop its ban on Muslim headscarves in schools by Monday evening.
"The French, like all democratic countries, cannot let themselves be satisfied with adopting a passive position," Allawi told Le Monde in an interview.
"Governments that decide to stay on the defensive will be the next terrorist targets," Allawi said.
"Let me tell you that the French, despite all the noise they are making, (such as) 'We don't want war', will soon have to fight against terrorists," he said, adding that future attacks could happen in French cities as well as in the United States.
The French government, which led the opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq, called his comments unacceptable.
"These declarations seem, in effect, to cast doubt on France's determination in the fight against terrorism," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding France had called for a political solution in Iraq since the start of the crisis.
"The French authorities have, for a long time, affirmed the necessity and urgency to mobilize against all forms of terrorism. France, which has itself been a victim of terrorist attacks, leads unrelentingly a determined action against this plague," the ministry said.
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
France Rebuts al-Allawi