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Afghanistan – Bin Laden death/France-UK cooperation

Published on May 17, 2011
Visit to the United Kingdom – Replies by Gérard Longuet, Minister for Defence and Veterans, to French radio and television reporters (excerpts)

London, May 9, 2011



Q. – Two questions on Afghanistan. Following the elimination of Osama Bin Laden, do you get the impression that the situation has changed for the coalition and in particular for French troops?

THE MINISTER – I think there are the beginnings of an evolution in relations between Afghanistan, Pakistan and the United States. The documents seized will enable us to understand the ulterior motives of the different parties in this triangle. I think and hope this will make it possible to clarify the situation, to have dialogue between Pakistan and Afghanistan, between the rebels who straddle the border, those supporting them and those fighting them. I think the political situation will evolve and should allow respect for the transition by 2014. (…)


Q. – Can you give us an example of heightened Franco-British cooperation, for example over the Libyan conflict? And secondly, have the threats of reprisals for Bin Laden’s death worsened in France and Britain?

THE MINISTER – On the second point, we French, British and Americans are very vigilant about terrorism, but it hasn’t radically changed in nature with the disappearance of Bin Laden, even though of course calls for murder can be heard. Fortunately they’re verbal calls. On the cooperation between France and Britain, UNSCR 1973 – which I was mentioning just now – arose out of a direct and personal understanding between President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister David Cameron. We really have two political leaders who understand each other, speak the same language and take the same decisions together. (…)./.

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