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Annapolis Conference/Burma

Published on December 3, 2007
Interview given by M. Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, to "RTL", (excerpts)

Paris, November 26, 2007
(…)

ANNAPOLIS CONFERENCE

Q. – You’ll be in Annapolis as a witness. What are you going to do there?
THE MINISTER – I’m not a witness. I’m the French Foreign Minister.

Q. – What will your role be tomorrow?

THE MINISTER – The Paris conference will be discussed, because plans without money are nothing, as well as the need to transform the Palestinians’ daily lives – they’re living very badly, not only in the West Bank but also in Gaza. I think it will be the important event at the end of the year. What could the outcome at Annapolis be? It could at last be the much-sought recognition of a Palestinian State. A lot of problems such as the issue of refugees, Jerusalem and borders will be addressed. The Annapolis conference has to be seen as the start of a long road which will probably end in November 2008 when the Americans hold their elections. (…)

BURMA

The main thing is Burma, the urgency is Burma!

Q. – The Chinese dissidents aren’t important then?

THE MINISTER – Yes, it’s important but may I say that you’ve already forgotten Burma.

Q. – No.

THE MINISTER – Then if you haven’t forgotten it, you know the importance that must be given to this country which is heavily dependent on China, which is next door, and where nothing happens any more, or not enough. Nicolas Sarkozy has talked a great deal about that. He’s asked a number of things. You’ll see what happens. The influence of China, India and the ASEAN countries has to be taken into consideration. I was there [in China] three weeks ago, not only to talk about Burma and to try to set up a long-term strategy to free the country but also to prepare Nicolas Sarkozy’s trip. (…)./.

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