A portrait of Bernard Kouchner.
"He's motivated by an anti-totalitarian drive whether he sees injustice from the left or the right," Holbrooke said. "It will be very positive for U.S.-French relations because he does not come with a visceral anger towards the American 'hyperpower.' "
Sarkozy opposed the American-led war in Iraq. Kouchner was one of the few in France's political elite to justify military intervention against Saddam Hussein - on humanitarian grounds, not because Iraq might have been seeking weapons of mass destruction.
"It was a question of overthrowing an evil dictator, and it was right to intervene," Kouchner said in 2004.