On 9 February, the Minister had a meeting with General David Petraeus, who came to give him the new American administration’s preliminary thoughts on Afghanistan. It followed Bernard Kouchner’s meetings with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, General James Jones and Richard Holbrooke.
The Minister reiterated that our priority had to be to place the Afghan people at the heart of the international community’s action by gradually creating the conditions for Afghanistan to ensure her security, provide the public services essential to her citizens and the means of generating her own revenue. General Petraeus confirmed that this approach, working as closely as possible with the Afghan people, would indeed be the one he would be striving to implement with NATO partners. He also stressed the importance of pursuing the regional approach initiated by France with last December’s La Celle Saint-Cloud ministerial meeting./.