Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

The French are outraged. Outraged, I say!

In an interview with BBC World Service Radio on Monday, [British Trade and Industry Secretary] Hewitt was asked what role she envisaged for French and Russian firms in the postwar reconstruction of Iraq.

She said the matter would have to be discussed in the United Nations and by the interim authority that is expected to be set up in Iraq.

She continued: "I must say, if I were an Iraqi minister in the new Iraqi government, I think I would personally take a poor view of companies that have been breaking U.N. sanctions and supporting Saddam's vile regime."

The comments angered the French.

"We have been driven to demand explanations this morning," Foreign Ministry spokesman Francois Rivasseau said. "These comments, as reported by the press, are not acceptable."

A spokeswoman at Hewitt's ministry insisted that she had made "no specific comment about the French or the Russians."

"She made it clear that all of this would be a matter for the U.N., the interim administration and, eventually, the Iraqi people," the spokeswoman said, adding that there had been no direct discussion with the French.

< email | 4/08/2003 02:49:00 PM | link

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