Thursday, January 19, 2006

Merkel's Human Rights Principles Give Rise to Irritation in Paris

Unlike previous chancellors, who have usually spent the first year or so tackling domestic issues, Merkel wasted no time in setting her foreign policy agenda. In the space of just a few weeks, the Chancellery, not the Foreign Ministry, laid out goals in trans-Atlantic relations, European policy and relations with Russia, something Gerhard Schröder focused on only in 2002, at the end of his first term in office.

Andreas Maurer, an expert on German foreign policy at the International Institute for Security Policy in Berlin, said Merkel had been surprisingly quick to step into the foreign policy arena.
Thus speaketh the IHT's Judy Dempsey. This does not seem to have gone unnoticed by the French.
During her Moscow visit, Angela Merkel used a tone of voice that has broken with the habits taken by Messieurs Chirac and Schröder vis-à-vis Vladimir Putin, inaugurating a more active discourse on human rights,
write Henri de Bresson and Antoine Jacob in Le Monde, noting immediately afterwards that
this has given rise to irritation in Paris.
Indeed, in
the same vein, Mrs Merkel has opposed the lifting of the embargo on arms sales to China desired by Messieurs Chirac and Schröder.
France. The country that never ceases to remind others as well as itself that it is supposedly the cradle of human rights but which uses the human rights card only when it serves its interests, i.e., never against an authoritarian régime.

Meanwhile (ginkuyeh to Carine), Le Monde gives lessons to the Poles on (I kid you not)
certain basic democratic values.

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