Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

Americas

Emulous Sarkozy chides Obama for Copenhagen travel plans

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-11-28

As things warm up ahead of the UN climate change summit in December, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has taken a dig at Barack Obama for planning to be in Copenhagen a full week before any other head of state.

The United States and China have made their national ambitions clear ahead of the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen, prompting French President Nicolas Sarkozy to go into diplomatic overdrive to make sure France's – and in particular his own – voice is heard loud and clear.

Sarkozy, representing French Guiana at a meeting of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO) in Manaus this week, was quick to offer his support for the optimism the US and Chinese statements represented.

"The latest declarations from Obama and the Chinese delegation are extremely encouraging," he said.

But Sarkozy did not hold back from making a dig at Obama for his decision to go to Copenhagen on Dec. 9, more than a week before the other heads of state, albeit en route to Oslo to pick up his recently awarded Nobel Peace Prize. The conference runs from Dec. 7 -18.

"I would hate to think that this could be seen as a discourteous action toward the Danish hosts and the other heads of state who have already said they will attend," Sarkozy said.

'Star power' and rivalry

The French president’s comment sheds light not only on his own desire to position himself as a global leader, especially on the issue of climate change, but also on the relationship between France and the USA.

Steven Ekovich, a political science professor at the American University of Paris, told FRANCE 24 that it is vital for Sarkozy to be seen, especially in France, as taking the lead on climate change, which was a core aspect of his election manifesto in 2007.

"Clearly there is competition," Ekovich said. "It is an attempt to tag on to the star power of Obama.

"But he is doing this for domestic concerns," Ekovich continued. "The citizens of Virginia do not vote for Mr Sarkozy. Obama dominates, and for someone with a strong ego [like Sarkozy], of course this is going to have an impact."

Deputy editor of French daily Le Figaro, Pierre Rousselin agreed.

"Obama’s popularity is very high," he said. "This is something that maybe aggravates Sarkozy, who is very mindful of his own popularity and who thinks that public opinion is too kind to Obama."

Date created : 2009-11-27

COMMENT(S)