Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ruthless French Cynicism

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ruthless French Cynicism

Article excerpt

BRITAIN'S RELATIONS with France threaten to plunge to a new low this week. For some years, the French have been campaigning to end UN sanctions against Iraq, simply because they see the prospect of huge profits from trade with Saddam Hussein. In pursuit of this objective, they have made common cause with Russia and China. The French Government has denounced the weekend bombing of Iraqi air defences as a 'war crime'. Meanwhile, as Britain and other European nations seek to establish good relations with the new Bush Administration in Washington, the French have shamelessly pursued their long-running campaign to wreck Nato. A few days ago, they grudgingly acknowledged that the new European Rapid Reaction Force might operate alongside Nato institutions rather than - as they had earlier insisted - supplant these. But it is reasonable to expect French guerilla warfare against Nato to continue, as it has done since the 1960s.

Finally, and for Britain perhaps most immediately disturbing, the French are giving this country no help whatever in stemming the tide of asylum seekers struggling to cross the Channel. …

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