Archive for the ‘Bernard Kouchner’ Category

Arabs lament lack of dialogue on Iran nuclear crisis

November 9, 2008

Arab diplomats complained on Sunday about a lack of dialogue with the West over Iran‘s nuclear ambitions during a briefing on the crisis by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice attended the meeting in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh alongside French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and their counterparts from Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

“The Arab countries wanted to be informed of the state of negotiations” between Iran and six major world powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — said an official who attended the talks.

Another participant said the Arab diplomats expressed “deep concerns” at the meeting and complained of “insufficient dialogue” between Arab countries and the six world powers on the standoff over Iran’s nuclear drive.

Western nations led by the United States accuse Tehran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons but Iran vehemently denies the charges, saying its programme is solely aimed at generating electricity.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Salah Bashir told the meeting that “the nuclear crisis became a crisis (for the West) but for us the Iranian surge for hegemony has become a crisis,” according to the participant who asked not to be named.

Sunni Arab governments like Egypt, Jordan and the six oil-rich Gulf monarchies have repeatedly expressed concerns over what they see as the growing influence of Shiite Iran in the region, namely in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Iran is under three sets of UN sanctions for failing to heed international demands to halt uranium enrichment but the major powers have offered Tehran technological, economic and political incentives if it suspends the process.

–AFP

Calls mount for Olympic ceremony boycott

March 18, 2008
By JOHN LEICESTER, Associated Press Writer 

PARIS – Moves to punish China over its handling of violence in Tibet gained momentum Tuesday, with a novel suggestion for a mini-boycott of the Beijing Olympics by VIPs at the opening ceremony.
Hollywood actor and Tibet activist Richard Gere, seen here in ... 
Hollywood actor and Tibet activist Richard Gere Saturday called for a boycott of the Beijing Olympic Games if China “does not act in the proper way” in handling protests in the Himalayan region.
(AFP/Getty Images/File/Jim McIsaac)

Protesters demonstrate against the Olympic Games in Beijing ...
Protesters demonstrate against the Olympic Games in Beijing in front of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, March 18, 2008. Tibetans called on IOC President Jacques Rogge to speak up about the Tibet crackdown and ask for the withdrawal of the torch relay in Tibet.
(AP Photo/Keystone, Dominic Favre)

Such a protest by world leaders would be a huge slap in the face for China’s Communist leadership.

France‘s outspoken foreign minister, former humanitarian campaigner Bernard Kouchner, said the idea “is interesting.”

Kouchner said he wants to discuss it with other foreign ministers from the 27-nation European Union next week. His comments opened a crack in what until now had been solid opposition to a full boycott, a stance that Kouchner said remains the official government position.

The idea of skipping the Aug. 8 opening ceremony “is less negative than a general boycott,” Kouchner said. “We are considering it.”

Asked about Kouchner’s statement, China’s U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya said: “Certainly I think what he said is not shared by most of the people in the world.”

International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said last month that he expects many heads of state — including President Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy — to attend the opening ceremony.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080318/ap_on_re_
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oGmo_MlCs0NUE

Iran: Retaliation for any Israeli attack

September 19, 2007

By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran has drawn up plans to bomb Israel if the Jewish state should attack, the deputy air force commander said Wednesday, adding to tensions already heated up by an Israeli airstrike on Syria and Western calls for more U.N. sanctions against Tehran.

Other Iranian officials also underlined their country’s readiness to fight if the U.S. or Israel attacks, a reflection of concerns in Tehran that demands by the U.S. and its allies for Iran to curtail its nuclear program could escalate into military action.

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070919/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_
israel;_ylt=AtR6F2VlgbC3Mbwvj2lzP56s0NUE